Legal advice corner

I am Lan Smith. I came to Australia to study, then I got married and settled there. I have Australian citizenship but I still retain my Vietnamese citizenship (my Vietnamese passport is still valid). My parents have given me a house in Binh Thanh district, Ho Chi Minh City. I want to know whether I have the ownership right to it and what the procedures are.

(lansmith – Canberra)




You are obviously an overseas Vietnamese.

According to Clause 2, Article 7 of the Law on Housing 2014, “Overseas Vietnamese are eligible to own houses in Vietnam”.

Clause 1, Article 186 of the Law on Land 2013 regulates, “Overseas Vietnamese who are entitled to own houses in accordance with the housing law will be entitled to own houses associated with residential land use rights in Vietnam.”

 1. For overseas Vietnamese, the conditions for recognition of the rights to housing ownership in Vietnam are prescribed in Clause 1 and Item b, Clause 2, Article 8 of the Law on Housing 2014 as follows:

- Overseas Vietnamese permitted to enter Vietnam.

- Overseas Vietnamese who have legal houses from agreements on commercial housing purchase, or lease purchase with enterprises or cooperatives trading in real estate (hereinafter referred to as real estate enterprise); agreements on housing purchase, gifting, exchange, inheritance with households or individuals; agreements on residential land transfer in a project on commercial housing construction which is permitted to divide the piece of land into smaller lots/plots for sales as prescribed by law.

2.   Procedures for granting certificates on land use and land-attached house ownership:

As stipulated in Clause 2, Article 5 of Decree 99/2015/NĐ-CP dated October 20th, 2015 of the Government prescribing in detail and instructing the implementation of some articles of the Law on Housing (Decree No 99/2015/NĐ-CP of the Government for short), overseas Vietnamese need the following documents for obtaining the Certificate of land use right, house ownership and other properties associated with the land.

-         With respect to a Vietnamese passport, it must be valid and has verifiable stamp of the Vietnam immigration authorities

-         For a foreign passport, it must be valid and contains the stamp of the Vietnam immigration authorities verifying the holder’s entry; and accompanied with documents issued by the Departments of Justice of provinces and centrally-governed cities, Vietnamese representative offices abroad, and the overseas Vietnamese management agencies, or other documents prescribed by Vietnam law, to certify the passport holder’s Vietnamese citizenship or Vietnamese origin.

According to Clause 1, Article 6 of Decree 99/2015/NĐ-CP of the Government, overseas Vietnamese who are not allowed to enter Vietnam are not eligible for the ownership of the houses they are given or inherit in Vietnam. In this case, they have to follow the regulations prescribed in Clauses 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Article 78 of Decree 99/2015/NĐ-CP of the Government.

Therefore, if you are permitted to enter Vietnam and you are able to carry out the transaction concerning houses as regulated in Vietnamese law, you are allowed to own the house given to you by your parents and have all the ownership rights over it including the right to be issued a certificate of the land use right and the ownership of the house by the State.

Advisor (Nguyen Phuong – Office of General Policies, Ho Chi Minh City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese).

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