Foreign Ownership over Real Estate for Individuals Foreigners

The National Assembly passed the Amended Law on Residential Housing on 25 November 2014 pursuant to which foreign individuals allowed to enter Vietnam have the right to purchase and own apartments or houses associated with land within residential housing projects.

It has been 5 years since the promulgation date, the implementing decrees has been issued to govern the residential housing activities given to foreigners. 


They are only entitled to buy and lease a number of apartments which does not exceed 30% of the apartments in an apartment building. Where a ward-level administrative unit has many condominiums, the Government will stipulate a number of apartments to be purchased. In respect of individual houses on a street, the Government will specify the number of apartments in which foreign entities and individuals can buy and lease. 

Houses associated with land

If houses include villas and residential houses (individual houses), they are only permitted to purchase and lease 250 homes within an area covered with population which is equivalent to populations of a ward-level administrative units.

Time-limit for ownership

Under Article 161.2.c of the Law on Residential Housing, the foreign individuals are eligible for owning housings as agreed in the contract of sale transactions, hire purchase, for a period of time which does not exceed 50 years from the date of issuance of land use right certificate (LURC) and can be extended at the discretion of the Government if required; housing ownership time-limit must be specified in the LURC. 

In addition, when the 50-year term of the LURC, homeownership and property on land is nearly expired, the foreigner can request to extend the term with not exceeding 50 years in accordance with Article 77.1 of the Decree No. 99/2015/ND-CP.

Foreign marriage over ownership rights

Where a foreign individual marry Vietnamese citizens, the foreign individuals do have housing ownership rights in the long-term as homeowners of Vietnamese citizens (freehold).

Licensing process for granting pink book to foreigners

According to Article 6.4 Decree No. 99/2015/ND-CP, procedures for issuing the LURC to the owner must comply with regulations of the Law on Land. However, the applicable laws have not had any detail guidance on the procedure for the foreigners obtaining the LURC. 

Under Article 74 of the Decree 99/2015, Article 31.3 of the Decree No. 43/2014 and Article 7 of the Circular 33/2017/BTNMT, the foreigner shall prepare and submit the following documents for proving their eligibility to own houses in Vietnam: 

a) Unexpired passport bearing the entry seal of Vietnam’s immigration authority (who is 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).

b) Documents proving the lawful establishment of housing in accordance with the current law. 

c) In case of  building houses for commercial purposes, one of the paper on projects on commercial housing development (project approval decision, investment decision, investment license and investment certificate) is required

d) In case of purchase, donation, inheritance or ownership of houses in another form as prescribed in law, a paper on such transaction is required.  

e) The form 04a/DK of application for LURC register.

f) Map of properties associated with the land.

g) A written approval of the land user for the construction of the work which has been notarized or authenticated in accordance with law and a copy of the document on land use rights in accordance with the law on land.

Costs of issuing LURC

The foreigner shall be granted a LURC after fulfilling the financial obligations:

♣ Land use levy, land rental, land-related taxes and registrations fee which be determined by tax agencies; and

• Regarding to the registration fee, the foreigner shall pay the rate of 0.5% price recorded in the housing purchase contract or housing lease contract. 

Bui Tien Long (Rudy)