US has least friendly business immigration policies: survey

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In a global survey of 130 businesses taken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the United States was found to have the least friendly business immigration policies. Long processing time of work permit applications was the primary problem cited. The US was followed by China and France.

"With business travel high on executives' agendas today, many organizations now face the demanding challenges associated with managing a globally mobile workforce," The Straits Times quoted Richard Schulte, PricewaterhouseCoopers's region head for human resource services, as saying.

"For China, as more organisations make inroads into the world's fastest growing market, there is an urgent need for businesses to find effective immigration solutions to navigate the country's complex immigration policies," Schulte said.

Australia emerged 10th most difficult and Japan 11th. Only two per cent found fault with the policies of South Korea, Hong Kong and Canada, the survey showed. In Asia, Taiwan was found to have the most business-friendly immigration policy, with just 1 percent noting difficulties. Thailand and Singapore's immigration policies were also ranked as having friendly immigration policies in Southeast Asia, with only three percent of the corporations citing any fault with their processes.

In late 2004, PricewaterhouseCoopers invited over 130 multinational companies to participate in research around mobility management, with a specific focus on employee immigration.

PwC's GVS survey is the first study of its kind and includes questions related to visa procurement , compliance, process administration and communications.