Can foreigners have their names on a red book in Vietnam?

Question: Can foreigners have their names on a red book (Certificate of land use rights and ownership of houses and other land-attached assets) in Vietnam?


Regarding land users as defined in Article 5 of the 2013 Land Law (Law No. 45/2013/QH13, dated November 29, 2013) as follows:

Article 5. Land users

Land users may be allocated land or leased land, have land use rights recognized by the State, or acquire land use rights in accordance with this Law, including:

1. Domestic organizations, including state agencies, people’s armed forces units, political organizations, socio-political organizations, economic organizations, socio-politico-professional organizations, social organizations, socio-professional organizations, public non-business organizations, and other organizations as prescribed by the civil law (below referred collectively to as organizations).

2. Domestic households or individuals (below referred collectively to as households or individuals).

3. Communities, including Vietnamese communities residing in the same village, street quarter or similar residential area sharing the same customs and practices or the same family line.

4. Religious institutions, including pagodas, churches, oratories, chancels, monasteries, abbeys, religious schools, head offices of religious organizations, and other religious institutions.

5. Foreign organizations with diplomatic functions, including diplomatic representative missions, consulates, other foreign representative agencies with diplomatic functions recognized by the Vietnamese Government, representative missions of organizations of the United Nations, inter-governmental agencies or organizations, and representative missions of inter-governmental organizations.

6. Overseas Vietnamese as prescribed by the nationality law.

7. Foreign-invested enterprises, including 100% foreign-invested enterprises, joint-venture enterprises, and Vietnamese enterprises in which foreign investors purchase shares, merge, or acquire in accordance with investment law.

According to this provision, foreigners are not eligible for land use rights, are allocated land, leased land, recognized land use rights, or receive land use right transfer by the State.

At the same time, according to Clause 3, Article 186 of the 2013 Land Law, all recipients of land use rights, ownership of houses, and other land-attached assets are foreigners. but is transferred or donated the inherited land use right as follows:

3. If all the heirs of land use rights and ownership of houses and other land-attached assets are foreigners or overseas Vietnamese who are ineligible to own houses in Vietnam as prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article, the heirs shall not be granted the certificate of land use rights and ownership of houses and other land-attached assets but may transfer or donate the inherited land use rights in accordance with the following provisions:

a/ In case of transferring land use rights, the heirs may act as the transfer or in the contract of transfer of land use rights;

b/ In case of donating land use rights, the people to receive land use rights must be the subjects specified at Point e, Clause 1, Article 179 of this Law and be eligible under the housing law, in which the heir may act as the donor in the contract or written document on donation commitment;

c/ In case of not making the transfer or donation of land use rights, the heir or his/her representative with a lawful document on authorization, shall submit a dossier on the inheritance to the land registration agency in order to update the cadastral book.

Thus, according to the above regulations, with land use rights, foreigners will not be allowed to have their names on the Red Book.

Regarding the ownership and use of houses by foreigners

Article 159 of the Law on Housing (Law No. 65/2014/QH13, dated November 25, 2014) clearly states that the subjects who are allowed to own houses and the form of house ownership in Vietnam by foreign organizations and individuals, and the conditions and papers for foreigners to own houses in Vietnam are specified in Article 74 of Decree 99 (No.: 99/2015/ND-CP, October 20, 2015)

Please check the details here

Thus, foreigners are only allowed to buy and have their names on the Red Book with apartments and separate houses in housing construction investment projects and must meet certain conditions


DB Legal is a full legal service law firm in Da Nang, Viet Nam. Our Lawyers bring enormous legal experience for local and foreign parties in Central Viet Nam, mainly in Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Hue, and Quy Nhon.

DB Legal help Client choose suitable solutions for their business and provide insightful advice for Client's growth.

Note: This  Advice includes information obtained or derived from a variety of publicly available sources. DB Legal has not sought to establish the reliability of these sources or verified such information. The information contained in this Advice is of a general nature only. It is not meant to be comprehensive and does not provide professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this advice without obtaining specific professional advice. Whilst every care has been taken in preparing this document, DB Legal makes no guarantee, representation, or warranty (expressed or implied) as to its accuracy or completeness, and under no circumstances will DB Legal be liable for any loss caused by reliance on any opinion or statement made in this document. Except as specifically indicated, the expressions or opinions are those of DB Legal only and are subject to change without notice. This document shall not be copied, reproduced, transmitted or further distributed by any recipient. The materials contained in this document were assembled in June 2023 and were based on the laws enforceable and information available at the time.

For more information: Our Vietnamese social page or  English social page

Local Office Numbers:
Hotline/Whatsapp/Zalo: +84 357 466 579

Contact us

Add 1: 3rd Floor, Indochina Riverside Tower, 81 Tran Phu Street, Hai Chau District, Danang City, Vietnam

Add 2: 28 Thanh Luong 20, Hoa Xuan Ward, Cam Le District, Danang city, Vietnam

Hotline 1: (+84) 357 466 579

Hotline 2: (+84) 985 271 242

Phone: (+84) 236.366.4674