Don’t know if you’ve seen this, but a company called Blueseed recently announced their plans to build a ship to house Technical start-up workers off the shore of San Francisco, far enough off shore to in ‘International’ waters. Makes you trying to get around the Visa issue just a little easier, now doesn’t it!? What we’ve run out of H1B’s for the year – don’t worry about it – just hire them and put them on the boat! Gives a whole new meaning to “off-shoring”.
Here’s the explanation from Blueseed:
As a foreign national, to legally earn a paycheck in the United States, you would need a valid U.S. work visa. To live and earn a paycheck aboard the Blueseed vessel, you will only need a passport.
If you are outside of the U.S., you’ll have to enter the U.S. first before boarding the Blueseed vessel. The best way to do this, and to be allowed to legally come to mainland, is to obtain a B1 (business) or B2 (tourist) visa. These visas are easier to obtain because they don’t grant the right to work in the U.S., are usually valid for 10 years (check validity for your country here) and are often combined into a B1/B2 business/pleasure visa. Nationals of 36 industrialized nations are exempted from this requirement for travel periods of up to 90 days, under the Visa Waiver program.
I like it. I like when someone finds away around the system legally – or so they’ve interpreted it to be legal. It’s creativity, in business, at it’s best! We have a problem (not enough technical workers) – we’ve found a solution (building a big barge and anchoring just off the shores of the United States for you to
hide house such workers). It causes everyone to have an instant opinion – you either think it’s legal or that it’s not legal, or you think it’s good for business or bad for business – it’s polarizing. It’s change. It’s fun!
I’d like to see some company take it one step further – put a floating work place in International air space! Sure that would make your work place 12 miles straight up in the air – but can you imagine the base jumps down to the ground! Talk about an extra benefit for your employees – even your employment brand would rock – “Working Here Is A Thrill A Minute!” or “Jump Into Your Career with Us!” – I mean the ideas are endless. Plus, with my airspace idea you won’t be hampered by just living hear water – you can move that sucker anywhere on Earth!
So, what do you think about Blueseed? Good idea or cheesy-creative attempt to get around U.S. Immigration and Labor Laws?
If you lived and worked on a cruise ship where would you go for a vacation? Go sit in an office for a week? I like to see how creative people are when there are government obstacles thrown up. Innovative thinking for sure!
Isn’t the problem they’re solving “not enough technical workers at the wages we’re willing to pay”? In any case, I doubt this will work out well – having a bunch of companies declare themselves to be immune to US tax and labor laws while still “crossing the border” regularly to the Silicon Valley mainland is too tempting a target and I’m certain regulators will find something to prosecute for.
Based on my proximity to the Caribbean, and the hemispheric nature of my town, I don’t know if I’d be a huge supporter of this.
I admit that the H visa process is a pain in the ass, but has anyone chatted w/someone who works in HR for the cruise industry? The complexities of multiple languages, work styles, and hell while we’re at it let’s throw in a union… this could go south quickly.
So no, not a fan and probably wouldn’t support it.
Frankly… I love the idea all ethical discussions aside. What it communicates to me is the real “global” context for business today. Think about it in the Caribbean where the “commute” to other countries would be less – US/Cuba/Bermuda, etc. – talk about a corner office with a view….