Even with a down economy, the need for highly educated, skilled workers remains high. Each year the Federal Government allows for only 85,000 total professional foreign workers to enter the United States as temporary workers, and each year that number is completely exhausted well before the next fiscal year begins. This is the elusive H-1B visa and this year, the “cap” number was reached on November 22.
This leaves many employers with jobs but no candidates to fill them. Understandably, this is a conundrum in an economy where so many are looking for work, but in Silicon Valley, the need for well educated, qualified individuals is greater than the supply of current United States workers. In an effort to work around this issue, a company called Blueseed, founded by entrepreneur Max Marty, has come up with the idea to develop a floating city to house individuals to perform work for Silicon Valley businesses in the United States (such as writing code) without actually doing the work in the United States.
The idea is part ingenuity and part gamble. Blueseed hopes to anchor a ship twelve miles off the coast of California, in international water. Staff and crew it with U.S. Workers and house on it foreign national entrepreneurs. In return they will offer regular trips to the mainland for the foreign nationals to enter the United States on a B-1 Visitor for Business visa to attend meetings, conferences and perhaps even training seminars. This may offer a service to Silicon Valley businesses that was never possible before.
All that said, is this possible? Obtaining a visitor visa is not exactly easy, especially from countries with high volume of immigration into the United States. One must prove substantial ties to their home country as well as the intent to return after international travel. A big hurdle when you’re living in a ship twelve miles of the shores of the United States. Additionally, applicants for admission into the United States must prove they are intending to return home each and every time they enter, so there will be a bit of a gamble from the get go. The idea is a good one, but logistically there is a lot to work out, the developers at Blueseed are not only aware, but ready for the challenge.
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