Floating entrepreneur startup ship won't require US visa

The next two years should see the launch of the world's first floating business startup community off the coast of the US.

The company responsible for the project, Blueseed, wants to provide office space and accommodation for entrepreneurs aboard the vessel which will be anchored less than 30 minutes off the coast of Silicon Valley. They hope to have the ship open for business before 2014. They already have nearly 150 technology startups from more than 40 nations that have expressed interest in starting their businesses on the ships.

The idea behind Blueseed is to provide a visa-free location where foreign entrepreneurs can create technology companies while also having quick and easy access to Silicon Valley without having to deal with the sometimes difficult process of obtaining a US work visa.

"The world's best entrepreneurs should be able to gather and collaborate in one place, and not be limited by antiquated work visa restrictions," Blueseed's site says.

The ship will be located approximately 12 miles off the coast of California in international waters, therefore a US visa will not be required. Workers can legally earn an income working on their startup while on the ship regardless of their nationality, but they can't legally earn money while visiting the mainland, unless they have a US work visa or are a US resident.

Workers travelling to the US can apply for a B1/B2 business or tourist visas which will generally allow them to be in the US for up to 6 months at a time. Nationals from countries part of the US Visa Waiver program do not need a visa for visits to the US of up to 90 days. Countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program include the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia.

However, citizens of countries under the visa waiver program are required to apply for the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application. ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program. You will need to submit the ESTA if:
  • You are a citizen or eligible national of a Visa Waiver Program country.
  • You are currently not in possession of a visitor's visa.
  • Your travel is for 90 days or less.
  • You plan to travel to the US for business or pleasure.
If you would like to apply for a US visa, WorkPermit.com can help. WorkPermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.