Regulations on foreigners owning real estate in Vietnam are regulated in Civil Code 2015, Law on Land 2013, Law on Housing 2014, Decree no. 99/2015/ND- CP on guidelines the Law on Housing and related documents.
For land, foreign individuals are not eligible to use land assigned or leased by the State, recognized land use rights, received transfer of land use rights. However, a foreign-invested enterprise could be allocated or leased land by the State, recognized land use rights, or received a land use right transfer. Foreign-invested enterprises that are assigned land by the State with the collection of land use levies to execute investment projects on the construction of houses for sale or for sale in combination with lease.
For housing, foreign entities eligible for the homeownership in Vietnam include: 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, representative offices of foreign enterprises, foreign-invested funds and branches of foreign banks operating in Vietnam (hereinafter referred to as foreign organization); foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam.
The foreign entities are 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; or 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.
Foreign organizations and individuals must have documents proving being the eligible subjects and meeting conditions to own houses in Vietnam. A foreign individual must have an unexpired passport bearing the entry seal of the 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. Foreign organizations must be subjects of owning houses in Vietnam which have investment registration certificate or a permission issued by a Vietnam’s competent authority for operation in Vietnam which is still unexpired at the time of housing transaction (hereinafter referred to as investment registration certificate).
A foreign entity shall not be granted a Certificate of the house and may only sell or offer it to another entity eligible to own housing in Vietnam in the case being: a foreign organization or individual receives a house as an inheritance or a gift which is located in an area in which foreign entities must not own houses, or the quantity of which exceeds the permissible limits; a foreign organization that does not operate in Vietnam, or a foreign individual who is not permitted to enter Vietnam, receives a house in Vietnam as a gift or an inheritance.
For specific situations, to avoid future dispute in house ownership arisen from the purchase, lease of property, house, land from the state, developer or other seller, or lessor it is important that the client check with property lawyers for eligibility, conditions and other relevant matters.