Changes to law to simplify home buying by overseas Vietnamese

By Anh Tu   January 29, 2024 | 07:11 pm PT
Changes to law to simplify home buying by overseas Vietnamese
Apartment buildings, land plots and townhouses in HCMC's eastern area. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Amendments to the Land Law that will take effect next year are set to make it easier for overseas Vietnamese to buy properties in the country.

Overseas Vietnamese, or Viet Kieu, who do not have citizenship will get exactly the same rights as Vietnamese citizens when the changes take effect in 2025.

The revised law will allow overseas Vietnamese to buy and rent houses that come with land, obtain land-use rights at housing projects and inherit residential and other types of lands adjoining houses.

They can also directly buy and sell all types of properties instead of being limited to apartments and houses at housing projects, residential areas and urban area as they currently are.

Nguyen Van Hau, vice president of the HCMC Bar Association, said the legal inability to buy certain kinds of properties and the complex procedures and documentation required to prove their Vietnamese origin caused many to buy in their relatives' names, leading to numerous disputes and lawsuits.

Besides, many property developers are discouraged from selling houses to overseas Vietnamese as this requires approval from regulators.

Hau believed the government would also simplify the process of proving one’s Vietnamese descent.

At a seminar on buying houses by foreigners and overseas Vietnamese in 2023, Peter Hong, permanent vice chairman of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese, which represents Viet Kieu entrepreneurs, said many overseas Vietnamese want to settle down and invest in Vietnam but are unsure about property ownership.

There are 5.5 million people of Vietnamese origin living abroad and another million with Vietnamese parents or grandparents.

Over 20% of them are approaching retirement age and a majority of them wish to return to their roots in the final years of their lives, he said.

Another survey by the HCMC Real Estate Club, a forum for real estate experts, found that three million Viet Kieu want to own property, especially in HCMC, when they settle down in Vietnam.

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