International Waters: A Visa-Free Entrepreneur Haven

A group of entrepreneurs led by PayPal founder Peter Thiel are hoping to circumvent U.S. visa restrictions by floating a business incubator on a ship anchored 12 miles off the coast of California.

What's the Latest Development?

To get around U.S. visa restrictions for high-skilled immigrants, venture capitalist Peter Thiel is planning to construct a haven for entrepreneurs in international waters. As the creator and CEO of Paypal and an early investor on Facebook, Thiel is known for his disruptive ideas. "The project, dubbed Blueseed, would house 1,000 people in international waters, with ferries that take passengers back and forth to shore." A berth in the floating idea factory would cost between $1,200 and $3,000 a month. 

What's the Big Idea?

To little avail, many companies that rely on technological innovation have asked Congress to loosen visa restrictions for high-skilled immigrants. "America's visa immigration restrictions stem from 'a creaky…policy that puts up absurd obstacles to professionals who want to work in the United States,' argues Editor Eric Schurenberg." Thiel says his Blueseed project provides one of the essential ingredients for America's continued technological innovation: immigrants willing to share big ideas and start new companies.

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