Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Working Around Immigration Restrictions

I've talked a lot about immigration and the reasons why I think we need more (patriotic reasonsmoral reasons, economic reasons, population reasons, employment reasons, and selfish reasons). I've also briefly discussed it's costs. Well here's a new company hoping get to highly educated immigrants around the complicated legal systems and get them working. First here's an example of how it's already happening:
Microsoft's decision to open a new Vancouver office in 2007 as an example. He said the decision to open the facility, which could eventually have as many as 5,000 employees, was motivated by the difficulty of getting visas for foreign workers. 
"They chose Vancouver because they wanted to be relatively close to Seattle," Siskind says. The decision to locate in Vancouver "was a real shame because out of those 5,000 jobs, at least 4,000 were going to be for American workers." Now most of those jobs will go to Canadians, and Microsoft will be able to bring in non-Canadian workers under Canada's less onerous immigration system.
Here's the rules that made that happen:
Immigration law makes it difficult for many would-be immigrants to get permission to work in the United States. For example, there's an annual cap on the number of H1-B visas available for American employers to hire skilled immigrant workers. However, permission to travel to the United States for business or tourism is much easier to get.
Now here's a weirder way around them:
Blueseed plans to provide regular ferry service between the ship to the United States. While Blueseed residents would need to do their actual work—such as writing code—on the ship, Marty envisions them making regular trips to Silicon Valley to meet with clients, investors, and business partners. 
With the ship only 12 miles offshore, it should be practical to make a day trip to the mainland and return in the evening.
It reminds me of the company I posted about 3 year ago, the Seasteading Institute, which wanted to create floating islands of libertarianism. In fact, it even looks like it:

And unlike Seasteading, this actually seems reasonable:
Blueseed estimates that rents will range from $1,200 per month for the smallest rooms to $3,000 for the largest—figures Marty says are comparable to what entrepreneurs would pay for an apartment and office in Silicon Valley.

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