Legal

How To Own Property In Vietnam For Foreigners

Linh Pham

June 16, 2020

Globalization and integration have created many opportunities for people travelling around the world, working in foreign countries, and even owning property in those countries. These days, overcoming difficulties from the post-war period, Vietnam is putting its name on the map as a great example of how to reform the economy.

The country is becoming a fertile land for many foreign investors and employees because of its strategic geography and its stable economic growth. With opener policies, foreigners can buy lands in Vietnam. This article will guide you through three main parts: policies of owning properties in Vietnam, the procedure, and steps to have a right of owning properties. 


Policies of owning property in Vietnam for foreigners

The information of this part is extracted from the Vietnam Law Housing published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). 

The right to owning lands belongs to the government and foreigners are not allowed to own lands. They can buy houses but not buy land. However, to create favorable conditions for investors, foreigners are able to lease the land from the State. 


Foreign entities eligible for the property owner in Vietnam

According to Clause 1 Article 159 Vietnam Law of Housing 2014, foreign entities eligible for property owner in Vietnam consists of:

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

– Foreign-invested enterprises, branches, representatives offices of foreign enterprises, foreign-invested funds and branches of foreign banks in Vietnam.

– Foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam.


Forms of Property Ownership

According to Clause 2, Article 159 of the 2014 Law of Housing, the foreign entities eligible for the homeownership in Vietnam if they:

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

– 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.


Requirements for foreigners to buy property

According to Clause 3, Article 160 of the 2014 Housing Law, foreigners are required to have permission to enter Vietnam and are not granted diplomatic immunity and privileges.

According to Clause 1, Article 74 of Decree 99/2015 / ND-CP, Foreigners must have a valid passport with a stamp of entry verification of the Vietnam Immigration Department.

According to Clause 2, Article 119 of the 2014 Housing Law, foreigners must have full civil capacity to enter into transactions in housing, qualify for the homeownership in Vietnam and are not required to register temporary or permanent residence in the place where the house under transactions is located.

According to Clause 2, Article 161 of the Law of Housing, foreign individuals may own houses as agreed upon in purchase and sale contract transactions, but for no more than 50 years from the date of being granted the certificate and can be extended if required. In case a foreign individual married to a Vietnamese citizen or a Vietnamese citizen residing overseas, he/she is entitled to own stable and long-term housing and the rights of the owner like Vietnamese citizens.

Moreover, the government also points out some regulations for foreigners in property ownership regarding the number of apartments that a foreigner can own or buy.

According to Clause 2 Article 161 of the 2014 Law on Housing, Foreigners are only allowed to buy, rent and purchase, receive, inherit and own less than 30% of apartments in an apartment building; or less than 250 houses regarding separate houses including villas, row houses in an area whose population is equivalent to a ward-administrative division.

According to Article 76 of Decree 99/2015 / ND-CP, in case population’s area is equivalent to a ward-level administrative unit which has an investment project on construction of commercial houses, including separate houses for sale, foreigners may own a number of houses according to the following provisions:

– In case there is only one project with a number of separate houses of less than 2,500 houses, foreign organizations and individuals may own no more than 10% of the total number of houses in that project;

– In case there is only one project with the number of separate houses equivalent to 2,500 houses, foreign organizations and individuals may own no more than 250 apartments;

– In case there are two or more projects where the total number of separate houses in these projects is less than or equal to 2,500 units, foreign organizations and individuals may own no more than 10% of the dwelling houses of each project.


Procedures and steps of owning property in Vietnam

Necessary documents that foreigners should prepare to own property in Vietnam

Documents for foreigner to buy a property in Vietnam

Foreigners need to prepare a house purchase dossier and ownership certificate of property. These documents will provide the eligibility of owning property in Vietnam. 

First, a house purchase dossier. Foreign individuals must have passports or passport substitutes (hereinafter collectively referred to as passports) issued by competent foreign agencies together with one of the following papers which is suitable for each situation. 

–  In case of being a person who invests in Vietnam directly, foreigner’s name must be stated in the Investment Certificate or in the papers corresponding to the investment activities issued by the competent authority of Vietnam with a term of one year or more or a paper proving that the foreigner is a member of the Board of Directors or the Management Board of the enterprise operating in Vietnam.

–  In case the person is hired by enterprises operating in Vietnam under the law of the enterprise to hold the positions of general director, director and deputy of the enterprise or the chief or deputy of units attached to the enterprise; there must be a contract for hiring a manager position or an appointment decision made in Vietnamese.

– In case of being a person is deserved well of the country, there must be a medal or decoration awarded by the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

– In case of being the person with a special contribution to the country, the foreigners must have a certification of the ministry-level agency in charge of the foreign individual’s field of contribution and send it to the Ministry of Construction for consideration and submission to the Prime Minister.

– In case of entering Vietnam to work in the fields of economics, science, technology, environment, education-training, culture, information, physical training, sports, health, social affairs, and lawyers, the foreigners need documents proving of having bachelor’s degree or higher degree issued by a competent Vietnamese or foreign agency, enclosed with one of the following papers: a work permit issued by a Vietnamese competent agency; and a professional practicing certificate in Vietnam issued by a Vietnamese competent agency.

Besides relevant documents to submit for a house purchase dossier, it is suggested that foreigners prepare permanent residence card or temporary residence card or residence certificate in Vietnam for one year or more issued by the immigration agency of the Ministry of Public Security.

Second, ownership certificate of property. Five kinds of documents that foreigners should prepare are:

– Passport

– A personal income tax receipt

– Registration fee receipt

– Permanent residence card or temporary residence card or proof of not eligible for privileges and immunities.

– Request for ownership certificates of property (Form 04 / DK Circular 23/2014 / TT-BTNMT)


Steps of owning property for foreigners in Vietnam

In order to own property in Vietnam, a foreigner has to go through a five-step procedure:

– Step 1: Prepare all necessary documents proving eligibility for housing ownership in Vietnam.

– Step 2: Sign house purchase contract, the contract must contain the contents as prescribed in Article 121 of the 2014 Housing Law, and be notarized or authenticated.

– Step 3: Register Ownership Certificates of Property: The file will be submitted at Land and House Registration Authority. After receiving the dossier, the authority will examine the dossier. In case the dossier is not valid or incomplete as prescribed by law, after 3 days from the date of receipt, the authority will notify to resend and guide the submitter to supply and complete as prescribed by law.

– Step 4: Complete financial obligations: pay tax, fee in the notice of financial obligations when buying property.

– Step 5: Receive the Ownership Certificates of Property.

To reduplicate, the article introduces policies of owning property in Vietnam regarding foreign entities eligible for the property owners, forms of property ownership, and requirements to buy a property. Additionally, necessary documents and steps of owning property are also presented in this article to help readers understand clearly the procedure of property ownership in Vietnam.

If you are foreigners and have the intention of owning property in Vietnam, hope that the article is helpful to you. Viettonkin is always by your side to offer you professional services in terms of law consultant. Please contact us if you have any problems, we will try our best to help you because your concern is our concern. 

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