Foreigners To Own House in Vietnam
On 03 June 2009, the Government has issued Decree No. 51/2009/ND-CP (“Decree 51”) guiding the implementation of a number of articles of Resolution No. 19/2008/QH12 (“Resolution 19”) dated 03 June 2008 of the National Assembly of Vietnam on pilot permission for foreign organisations and individuals to purchase and own residential housing in Viet Nam.
According to the Decree 51, foreign individual who (a) has directly invested in Vietnam or is employed by a Vietnam-based company for management purpose; (b) gets married with Vietnamese citizen; (c) has great contribution to Vietnam as honoured by the Vietnamese President; (d) is working in business – social field with graduate education level or higher or who holds special knowledge and/or skills as required by the state of Vietnam; and foreign company which currently invests and operates in Vietnam (except for real estate business) is in need of the accommodation for its staffs, shall qualify to buy and own residential housing in Vietnam.
To buy and own residential housing in Vietnam, the above mentioned qualified foreign organizations and individuals are required to hold of the below documents: (a) Investment Certificate which records the applicant’s name as one of the investors and is still valid for 01 year or more; or (b) employment contract showing that he/she is employed as a director of board of management of a Vietnam-based company; or (c) medals awarded by the President of Vietnam; or (d) work permit; or (e) marriage certificate and ID Card and/or Passport of the Vietnamese spouse.
In addition, if being a foreign individual, the applicant must hold a permanent resident card or temporary resident card which is valid for at least 12 months issued by the Immigration Department; and if being a foreign company, it must be currently operating and its Investment Certificate is still valid for 01 year or more.
It is notable that houses which foreign organizations and individuals are entitled to buy and own are only apartments which belong to project for development of commercial residential housing and are not located in the restricted area or prohibited area to foreigners.
Decree 51 also provides the procedures for issuance of Certificate of house ownership and land use right (“CHOLUR”) with respect of foreign organizations and individuals who are allowed to own houses in Vietnam. Accordingly, to apply for the CHOLUR, the applicant is required to submit to the Department of Construction where the apartment is located the application dossier including the documents as detailed in the Decree 51. The time period for issuance of the CHOLUR is 30 days from the receipt of the proper dossier by the Department of Construction.
Decree 51 also provides that foreign individuals and organizations owning apartments in Vietnam are entitled to use the public land of such apartment under the form of land lease with one-off payment of rent for the entire term of the lease. If such individuals or organizations transfer the apartments for Vietnamese individuals or organizations, the use of such public land shall be on a stable and long-term basis.
The Decree shall take effect as of 01 August 2009.
Le Nguyen Huy Thuy
Unit 4A2, 4th Floor, Han Nam Office Bldg.
65 Nguyen Du, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
(Tel) +8483 823 9640
(Fax) +8483 823 9641