Vietnam laws on foreign ownership of property – key changes Monday, Oct 01, 2018 by: hung leposted in: Insights comments: 0 Foreigners and housing in Vietnam If you are an expat working or living in Vietnam for an extended period of time, and you do not have a clear understanding of the legal procedures pertaining to housing matter here in Vietnam, this article Vietnam law on foreign ownership of property – key changes will definitely help you. A summary of key changes This article will summarise some of key changes in Vietnam law pertaining to persons who are eligible to own a house in Vietnam properties that are available to foreigners methods to purchase procedures to comply, and restriction or limitation that need to bear in mind. Who are eligible Law of Vietnam now allows 5 catergorised persons to own a house in Vietnam which are individual including foreign citizen, no nationality who permanently or temporarily residing in Vietnam having valid documentation permitted to enter Vietnam, except diplomatic immunity and privilege. foreign organisation (including foreign-invested enterprises - an organization established and operated under Vietnamese law whose members or shareholders are foreign investors branches and/or representative office of foreign enterprises - a dependent unit of the foreign enterprises which is established under the Vietnamese law foreign investment fund and branches of foreign banks in Vietnam - a fund formed from capital contributed by investors for the purpose of earning profits and a foreign bank’s subsidiary without legal entity status respectively, and finally overseas Vietnamese (Vietnamese citizens, original Vietnamese who are now currently residing or living for a long time in a foreign country) Which Form of Housing Is available Commercial houses, including apartments and detached houses - (includes villas, row houses) of commercial housing constructed project are available for foreigners. No other type of houses, including an individuals separate house is available to foreigners. What are the methods Foreigners can own a house by investing in project-based housing construction in Vietnam, including development of commercial housing invested by a real estate enterprise for lease, lease purchase or sale, and renovation and reconstruction of old housing areas and/or apartment buildings, or purchase, lease-purchase, receive or inherit commercial housing in the project for housing construction What Are procedures Depending on the methods to own a house in Vietnam, foreigners shall have to choose either the following procedures to comply with. Investment in Project-Based Housing Construction Step 1 - Obtain a decision/approval on investment policies Step 2 - Planning appraisal, housing construction project approval Step 3 - Developing the housing construction project Step 4 - Contract for lease, lease purchase or sale conduction Buy, Rent and Purchase, Receive or Inherit Step 1 - Sign contract at notarized office or authenticated by competent authorities for the agreement on housing sale, lease, lease purchase, gift Step 2 - Apply for a certificate for the change in ownership at competent authority What Are limitations or restrictions There are a number of limitations and restrictions that apply to foreigners if they intends to own a house in Vietnam which include the (total) number of house to be entitled, which is now up to 30% of the total number of an apartments in a building; up to 250 houses regarding separate houses including villas, or row house; and up to 10% of the houses of a project having less than 2500 houses in an area whose population is equivalent to a ward-administrative division. Foreigners are unable to purchase or own a house that is within national defense and security requirements. It is worth however noting that these areas were not publicly announced by the authorities. In addition, foreign individual is entitled to lease house for lawful purpose provided that s/he notifies the agency. the term which is only 50 year lease which can be extended or transferred prior to its expiration in the event purchase, lease-purchase, inherit or received as a gift. Last but not least, foreign organization(s) is/are only provided for their employee but it is not allowed to use their houses for lease, offices or other purpose. Please download this Newsletters Vietnam laws on foreign ownership of property – Key Changes.