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Seasteading Institute Announces Agreement with French Polynesia

The Seasteading Institute, set up in 2008 with the goal of “empowering people to build floating startup societies with innovative governance models,” has announced that it has reached an agreement with the government of French Polynesia to cooperate on creating legal framework to allow for the development of its “Floating Island Project” – an idea to set up an essentially regulation-free floating community to pursue scientific and social research.

Obviously, this isn’t explicitly about immigration (at least, nothing in the public announcement mentions it).

However, the project puts me in mind of an earlier, similar effort that was more explicitly targeted at creating a visa-free environment for entrepreneurs: Blueseed. This earlier project sought to anchor a cruise ship in international waters off San Francisco as a visa-free, incubator-like environment for entrepreneurs. The Seasteading Institute’s original 2008 announcement stated an intent to base this their project off San Francisco as well.

The Seasteading French Polynesia endeavor has direct implications for a less restrictive visa environment.

My point here isn’t that we should all plan to move to floating utopian (or dystopian, depending on point of view) wonderlands. My point is that overly restrictive visa regimes don’t provide motivation to create opportunities for US workers – instead, they provide motivation to move the opportunities somewhere else.