The Redmond company Friday is to officially open its expanded Vancouver, B.C., development center, inaugurating office space that can hold as many as 750 people, up from the 550 the software company now employs there.

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Microsoft is going north of the border in its search for talented employees.

The Redmond company Friday is to officially open its expanded Vancouver, B.C., development center, inaugurating office space that can hold as many as 750 people, up from the 550 the software company now employs there.

Before Microsoft went ahead with the expansion, the company had about 300 employees in the Vancouver area.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company was setting up shop to tap in to the region’s technology talent in an area close to its Redmond home base.

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“We are thinking about Vancouver and Seattle as an emerging high-tech corridor,” Smith said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to attend a ceremony to inaugurate the facility, which includes developers working on a wide variety of Microsoft products, including video games, Skype chat service and the OneNote app.

The office also gives Microsoft more flexibility to draw talented engineers from overseas. Microsoft told regulators it would use the center, in part, as a facility to train international employees in a work-experience program before placing them in another Microsoft office.

Vancouver is governed by Canada’s looser restrictions on high-skilled immigrants. In the U.S., Microsoft has campaigned for higher annual caps on the number of H-1B visas available for sponsor companies.

Documents obtained by CBC News last year indicated Microsoft had told Canadian officials during the permitting process that Canadians might occupy as few as 20 of 350 added permanent jobs expected to be created in the expansion, at least initially.

The company, the documents suggest, was likely to rely on Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program to fill its ranks.

There would be 50 other new positions, but they were slated for “foundry employees,” or paid student interns from Canadian universities.

Smith said those plans were preliminary, and that a majority of the facility’s current workers are Canadian citizens. No single location produces enough talented engineers for Microsoft’s needs, he said.

Much of the company’s software development occurs in Redmond, but the company also has research-and-development offices in India, China, Israel, Silicon Valley, the Boston area and Vancouver.

The 142,000-square-foot space, officially called the Microsoft Canada Excellence Center, is in downtown Vancouver, which boasts a growing technology scene and proximity to British Columbia’s prominent research universities.

“The center will serve as yet another gateway between British Columbia and the world,” Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia, said in a statement.

Microsoft’s facility opens a few months after Tableau, the Seattle-based builder of data-visualization software, started its own Vancouver outpost.

Microsoft originally opened a Vancouver-area development center in 2007