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Buying house for foreigners in Vietnam?

July 6, 2023 | Q&A

To ensure national defense and security, Vietnamese law has some restrictions on foreigners buying houses in Vietnam, but foreigners can buy houses under certain conditions. Let's find out with DB to understand the problem of buying houses for foreigners in Vietnam.

I. Can foreigners buy houses in Vietnam?

According to Clause 3, Article 7 of Law on Housing 2014

"Article 7. Entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam

1. Vietnamese organizations, households, or individuals (hereinafter Vietnamese entities).

2. Overseas Vietnamese.

3. Foreign organizations and individuals (hereinafter referred to as foreign entities) prescribed in Clause 1 Article 159 of this Law."

Also at Point C, Clause 1, Point B, Clause 2, Article 159 of the Law on Housing 2014 stipulates who can own houses and the form of house ownership in Vietnam by foreign organizations and individuals as follows:

Article 159. Foreign entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam and forms of homeownership in Vietnam relating to foreign entities

1. Foreign entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam include:

a) Foreign entities who invest in project-based housing construction in Vietnam as prescribed in this Law and corresponding regulations of law;

b) Foreign-invested enterprises, branches, representative offices of foreign enterprises, foreign-invested funds, and branches of foreign banks operating in Vietnam (hereinafter referred to as foreign organization);

c) Foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam.

2. The foreign entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam if they:

a) Invest in project-based housing construction in Vietnam as prescribed in this Law and corresponding regulations of law;

b) Buy, rent and purchase, receive, or inherit commercial housing, including apartments and separate houses in the project for housing construction, except for areas under management relating to national defense and security as prescribed in regulations of the Government.

Along with that, Article 7 of Decree 99/2015/ND-CP stipulates the term of house ownership

3. Foreigners mentioned in Point C Clause 1 Article 159 of the Law on Housing may own housing for up to 50 years from the date of issue of the Certificate. When the house ownership period written on the Certificate expires, if the owner wishes to have this period extended, the State shall consider granting an extension according to Article 77 of this Decree.

Thus, foreigners are allowed to own commercial houses in Vietnam.

II. What are the conditions for foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam?

There are a number of conditions for foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam, detailed as follows:

Article 160 of the Law on Housing 2014 stipulates conditions for foreign organizations and individuals to own houses in Vietnam

Article 160. Requirements pertaining to foreign entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam

1. The foreign entity prescribed in Point a Clause 1 Article 159 of this Law is required to have an Investment certificate and have houses which are built under a project as prescribed in this Law and corresponding regulations of law.

2. The foreign entity prescribed in Point b Clause 1 Article 159 of this Law is required to have an Investment certificate or Permission to run a business in Vietnam (hereinafter referred to as a Certificate of investment) issued by the competent agency in Vietnam.

3. The foreign entity prescribed in Point c Clause 1 Article 159 of this Law is required to have permission to enter Vietnam, and he/she is not granted diplomatic immunity and privileges as prescribed.

4. The Government provides guidance on documentary evidence for entities or requirements pertaining to foreign entities qualifying for homeownership in Vietnam.

Along with that, Article 74 of Decree 99/2015/ND-CP stipulates documents proving the subjects and conditions for owning houses in Vietnam as follows:

Article 74. Documents proving eligibility for owning houses in Vietnam.

1. A foreign individual must have an unexpired passport bearing the entry seal of Vietnam’s immigration authority and not be given diplomatic immunity and privileges according to the Ordinance on diplomatic immunity and privileges of diplomatic missions, consular offices, and representative authorities of international organizations in Vietnam.

2. A foreign organization must be an entity specified in Article 159 of the Law on Housing which has an investment registration certificate or permission issued by Vietnam’s competent authority for operation in Vietnam which is still unexpired at the time of housing transaction (hereinafter referred to as investment registration certificate).

Thus, according to the above provisions, foreigners need documents to prove that they are allowed to enter Vietnam and are eligible to own houses.

III. How many houses are foreigners allowed to own in Vietnam?

Article 76 of Decree 99/2015/ND-CP stipulates the number of houses that foreign organizations and individuals can own:

Article 76. Permissible quantity of houses owned by foreign entities

1. According to the notification sent by the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security, and the direction of the People’s Committee of the province as specified in Clause 2 Article 75 of this Decree, the provincial Department of Construction shall make the following information publicly available on its web portal:

a) A list of housing construction projects in the province which are located inside the areas in which foreign entities are not permitted to own houses;

b) The quantity of houses (including apartments and detached houses) of each housing construction project that foreign entities may own, provided they are not those specified in Point a of this Clause; the quantity of apartments of each apartment building, the quantity of detached houses of each project that foreign entities may own;

c) The number of houses that have been purchased, or leased under a lease-purchase agreement by foreign entities, provided they have been granted certificates for each of the housing construction projects;

d) The quantity of apartments that foreign entities may own in case there is more than one apartment building in an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward; quantity of detached houses that foreign entities may own in case in an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward, there is one or more housing construction projects but the total quantity of detached houses does not exceed 2,500.

2. Foreign entities eligible to own houses in Vietnam may only purchase, lease-purchase houses from owners of housing construction projects, or purchase houses of the foreign entities specified in Point b Clause 4 Article 7 of this Decree and may only receive houses as inheritance of gifts from households or individuals, or receive houses as gifts from organizations provided the quantity does not exceed the limits specified in Clause 4 and Clause 4 of this Article of the housing construction projects whose houses they may own. Where a foreign entity that is not eligible to own houses in Vietnam receives a house in Vietnam as a gift or inheritance, provisions in Article 78 of this Decree shall apply.

3. Foreign entities may own up to 30% of the total number of apartments of an apartment building. In an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward, if there is more than one apartment buildings for sale or lease-purchase, foreign entities may own up to 30% of the number of apartments of each apartment building and up to 30% of the total number of apartments of all these apartment buildings.

4. In an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward, if there is a commercial housing construction project for sale or lease-purchase, the quantity of detached houses that foreign entities may own is specified below:

a) Where the quantity of detached houses of a project is fewer than 2,500, foreign entities may own up to 10% of the houses of such a project;

b) Where there is only one project whose quantity of detached houses is equivalent to 2,500 houses, foreign entities may own up to 250 houses of them;

c) Where there are two or more projects where the total quantity of detached houses does not exceed 2,500 houses, foreign entities may own up to 10% of the houses of each project.

5. The Ministry of Construction shall provide specific instructions on determining the quantity of housing that foreign entities may own per Clause 3 and Clause 4 of this Article.

Thus, depending on each project, the number of houses that foreigners can own.

DB Legal is a full legal service law firm in Da Nang, Viet Nam. Our Lawyers bring enormous legal experience for both local and foreign parties in Central Viet Nam, mainly areas 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.

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