The Ministry of Construction of Vietnam has recently issued the 4th draft amendment to the current Law on Residential Housing (the "Draft") for discussion before it is sent to the National Assembly for passing. In an effort to make the Vietnamese real estate market more attractive to foreigners, the Draft proposes to provide more opportunity for foreign organisations and individuals to purchase and own residential houses in Vietnam.
Under the Draft, the "foreigners" who are allowed to purchase and own residential houses in Vietnam will comprise both foreign organisations and foreign individuals. In addition, such foreign organisations and foreign individuals are also allowed to give, receive and inherit residential houses to/from other entities/individuals in accordance with the laws of Vietnam. Foreign organisations must be legally licensed to operate in Vietnam. As for foreign individuals, they must be permitted to enter into Vietnam by the competent authorities of Vietnam and are not entitled to the privileges and immunity of diplomatic representations and consulates.
Certain limitations on the purchase and ownership of real property under the current Law on Residential Housing are lifted by the Draft. Foreign organisations and foreign individuals will be allowed to purchase and own commercial residential houses for a leasehold period of up to 70 years, with the likely option to renew upon expiry of such period. In addition, there will also be no limitation on the number of commercial residential houses that can be purchased and owned by foreign organisations and foreign individuals. Lastly, foreign organisations and foreign individuals will be allowed to lease out commercial residential houses lawfully owned by themselves in accordance with the laws of Vietnam.