Since the first land laws of 1993 property sector in Vietnam is increasingly open to foreign
individuals and organizations. Initially the 1992 Constitution of Socialist Republic of Vietnam,
articles 17, states that “the land as belonging to the state fall under the ownership of the entire
people”. So technically, no one can own land : foreigners or Vietnamese. However statute of the
land is not the same as built property. Since this first law, proprietorship evolves, the 1993 Land
Law was replaced by the 1998 Land Law and most recently by the 2003 Land Law. January 1 2009,
the National Assembly approved the circular 13 allowing foreigners to buy flats and apartments in
the country. At last, ...view middle of the document...
The question is how do foreigner get land use rights?
There is 3 solutions:
1. By leasing from the state but:
– Foreigners can request land lease from the state after setting up foreign invested enterprises
in Vietnam. The application dossier must have an investment acceptance and investment
project approved by competent agencies.
– Land lease shall be based on land use planning.
2. By sub-leasing from domestic or foreign organizations or individuals who invest in
construction or business development of basic infrastructure in industrial areas.
3. By forming joint ventures with Vietnamese individuals or organizations who contribute
capital by land use rights. Joint venture in which capital contribution of foreign parties is
equal or less than 49% land use may be in the form of land lease or land allocation.
Foreigner parties must by verify whether Vietnamese parties are entitle to contribute capital
by land use rights.
If the land use rights are required by foreigners in business view and if the project involves
manufacture or construction, sub-leasing is an alternative to avoid the complex procedure of leasing
land directly from the state.
Once the land rights obtained, foreigners land users can make transfer, mortgage or capital
contribution by the land use right in condition that they payed in full the rent for the whole lease
B. Current restrictions for the foreign particular and firms ownership on houses
Regarding the Resolution No. 19/2008/QH12 on 3 June 2008, only five categories of people can
own an apartment in Vietnam:
– A foreign individual with a direct investment in Vietnam, or who holds a management
position in a company currently operating in Vietnam.
– A foreign individual whose contribution to Vietnam has been rewarded with a decoration or
medal from the president or recognized by the prime minister.
– A foreign individual current working in a socio-economic sector with a university degree or
higher qualification and who has special technical knowledge or technical skills which
– A foreign individual who is married to a Vietnamese citizen
– A foreign owned company, other than a real estate company, which needs to provide
accommodation for its staff.
Foreigners are entitled to own an apartment in Vietnam subject to conditions:
– Foreigners must reside in Vietnam
– Foreigners mus have a VISA to reside in Vietnam for one year or more.
– A foreigner can only own one residential property at any one time with ownership period of
50 years nonrenewable. Exception: Foreign invested company are entitled to by multiple
apartments to provide accommodation to their staffs.
Foreigners can sell, bequeath, gift, mortgage or donate the apartment to another eligible individual
or entity at any time throughout the duration of their ownership rights.
However they cannot lease the apartment, contribute the apartment as capital, use the apartment as a
registered office or use the apartment for non-residential purposes.