I am a foreigner and I intend to buy a house in Vietnam. I would like to know whether I can buy a house in Vietnam. If it is possible, what specific conditions I have to meet? I hope FDVN Law Firm will respond to me soon. Thank you.
According to Article 7 Law on housing 2014, a foreigner can become one of the entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam:
1. Entities eligible for the homeownership in Vietnam
Entities eligible for homeownership in Vietnam are stipulated in Article 159 Law on housing 2014, including: “Foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam.”
According to Article 20 of the Law on entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, a foreigner shall be permitted for entry if he/she:
a) possesses a passport or documents enabling international travel, except for cases of visa-free entry as specified in this Law. Passport of a foreigner wishing to make an entry in form of unilateral visa-free must be valid at least for another 6 months; and
b) does not fall into circumstances of entry suspension, including Children under 14 years of age without parents, guardians, or authorized custodians; Forging papers or providing false information to obtain entry/exit/residence permit; Any person suffering from a mental disease or infectious disease that threatens the public health; Any person that was deported from Vietnam within the last 03 years; Any person that was compelled to leave Vietnam within the last 06 months; For reasons of epidemic prevention; For reasons of natural disasters; For reasons of national defense, national security, social order, and social safety.
2. Requirements on homeownership of foreigners in Vietnam are stipulated at Clause 3 Article 160 of Law on housing 2016 as follows: “having permission to enter Vietnam and he/she is not granted diplomatic immunity and privileges as prescribed by law”.
This Article is guided in Clause 1, Article 74 of Decree No. 99/2015 / ND-CP: A foreign individual must have an unexpired passport bearing the entry seal of Vietnam’s immigration authority and not given diplomatic immunity and privileges according to Ordinance on diplomatic immunity and privileges of diplomatic missions, consular offices, and representative authorities of international organizations in Vietnam.
3. Regarding forms of homeownership in Vietnam, Clause 2 Article 159 stipulates 2 forms of homeownership as follows:
(1) Invest in project-based housing construction in Vietnam as prescribed by this Law and corresponding regulations of law;
(2) 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 by the government's regulations.
4. Regarding the homeownership duration, it is specified in Clause 3, Article 7 of Decree No. 99/2015/ND-CP:
“Foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam 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.”
5. Regarding the permissible quantity of houses owned by foreign individuals specified at Article 76 Decree 99/2015/NĐ-CP:
(1) Foreign entities may own up to 30% of the total number of apartments in an apartment building. In case, an area whose population is equivalent to ward-level administrative units and there are many 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.
(2) For the independent house: In an area whose population is equivalent to ward-level administrative units and there is a commercial housing construction project, in which there is an independent house for sale or lease-purchase, the number of detached houses that may be owned by foreign entities as specified below:
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 project;
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;
Where there are two or more projects whose total quantity of detached houses does not exceed 2,500 houses, foreign entities may own up to 10% of the houses of each project.
Ha Thi Hien - FDVN Law Firm
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