Conditions for home ownership of foreigners in Vietnam

Are you a foreigner who desires to buy a house to live and work in Vietnam but do not know if Vietnamese law allows it? Let’s find out about this issue with PL & Partners through the following article.

According to Clause 1, Article 159 of the Law on Housing 2014, one of the entities eligible for home ownership in Vietnam is foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam.

♦ CONDITIONS FOR FOREIGN INDIVIDUALS TO BE ALLOWED TO ENTER VIETNAM

  • Having a passport or an international travel document and a visa, apart from visa exemption cases. A foreigner who is eligible for visa exemption upon entry under a unilateral visa exemption scheme must possess a passport having more than 06 months of validity;
  • Not falling into these cases of suspension from entry:
  • Those do not meet the first condition above;
  • Under-14 children who are not accompanied by their parents, guardians, or authorized persons;
  • Those forged papers or made false declarations to obtain entry, exit, or residence papers;
  • Those suffer mental disorders or infectious diseases which threaten the community’s health;
  • Those were expelled from Vietnam within the last 03 years counting from the effective date of the expulsion decisions;
  • Those who were compelled to leave Vietnam within the last 06 months, counting from the effective date of the decisions on compelled exit;
  • For epidemic prevention and control;
  • In circumstances of natural disasters;
  • For national defense, security or social order and safety.

♦ CONDITIONS FOR HOME OWNERSHIP OF FOREIGN INDIVIDUALS IN VIETNAM

  • Foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam (specifically,  having a valid passport with entry verification by Vietnam Immigration Department);
  • Not entitled to diplomatic and consular privilege and immunity under the Ordinance on the privileges and immunities relating to Diplomatic Mission, Consular Posts and Representative Offices of International Organizations in Vietnam.

♦ FORMS OF THE HOME OWNERSHIP OF FOREIGN INDIVIDUALS IN VIETNAM

Clause 2, Article 159 of the Law on Housing 2014 and Decree 99/2015/ND-CP and Decree 30/2021/ND-CP stipulate that foreign individuals can only own housing (including apartments and separate houses) in the construction and investment project of commercial housing, except for areas under management relating to national defense and security as prescribed by Vietnamese law.

The Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security have the responsibility to specify the areas having national defense and security requirements in each province and send a written notification to the People’s Committee of the province as the basis for directing the provincial Department of Construction to compile a list of commercial housing construction projects whose houses must not be owned by foreign entities.

♦ QUANTITY OF HOUSES OWNED BY FOREIGN INDIVIDUALS IN VIETNAM

Pursuant to Article 161 of the Law on Housing 2014, Article 76 of Decree 99/2015/ND-CP, and Article 29 of Circular 19/2016/TT-BXD, the quantity of houses that may be owned by foreign entities in Vietnam is specified as follows:

  • For apartments

Foreign entities may own up to 30% of the total number of apartments in an apartment building.

In an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward-administrative division, if there are multiple 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.

  • For separate houses:

In an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward-administrative division, if there is a commercial housing construction project, including separate houses for sale or lease-purchase, the quantity of separate houses that may be owned by foreign entities is specified below:

  • If there is one project where the quantity of separate houses is fewer than 2,500, foreign individuals may own up to 250 houses;
  • If there is one project where the quantity of separate houses is equivalent to 2,500, foreign individuals may own up to 250 houses of such project;
  • If there are two or more projects in which the total number of separate houses does not exceed 2,500 houses, foreign individuals may own up to 10% of the houses of each project.
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