A foreigner can have the right to buy and possess a house in Vietnam for a maximum possession time of 70 years, according to the Ministry of Constructions project.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has just instructed the Ministry of Construction to prepare the necessary documents on the experimental project to permit foreigners to buy houses and possess land in Vietnam to submit the National Assembly's Standing Committee for opinions.
If the project is approved, foreigners can buy and own houses instead of renting houses as at present. According to the statement by the Ministry of Construction, Vietnamese laws now do not permit foreign individuals and organisations to buy houses in Vietnam. Under the Vietnamese Business Law and Housing Law, foreign entities can only rent land, build houses to sell or lease the houses.
If these are houses for lease, the Vietnamese Government will only recognise the right to possess the houses on the rented lands. Similarly, if a foreign investor builds houses to sell, the Government recognises the land and house rights of only Vietnamese buyers rather than the foreign investor. Foreign individuals and organisations have the right to rent houses only after residing in Vietnam over 3 months.
According to the Construction Ministry, the project to permit foreigners to own houses will facilitate living and working conditions for foreigners in Vietnam. This can also lure more foreign investment and promote the development of the property market in Vietnam. The project points out that the Vietnamese Governments permission aims to provide more convenient conditions for foreigners living and working in Vietnam rather than to encourage them to trade houses.