I’m a foreigner and married to a Vietnamese. We are living in an apartment in Hanoi. It is owned by my wife. May I own that apartment if it is transferred from my Vietnamese spouse?
Under Vietnamese regulations on permission for foreigners to purchase and own residential houses in Vietnam, a foreigner like you is allowed to purchase and own an apartment if:
- He/she marries a Vietnamese citizen, and is currently residing in Vietnam, permitted by a Vietnamese competent state agency to reside in Vietnam for at least one year, and ineligible for diplomatic or consular privileges and immunities under Vietnamese law.
- The apartment has been built under a commercial housing development project and is not located in an area in which foreigners’ residence or travel is restricted or banned.
So, you may own the apartment because your wife is Vietnamese and it is built under a commercial housing development project and not located in an area in which foreigners’ residence or travel is restricted or banned.
What are procedures for transfer of residential house ownership? Must I pay any tax or fee?
Under the Vietnamese housing law, the transfer of residential house ownership must be carried out under house sale and purchase or donation contracts between spouses and stated in the residential house ownership certificates granted by competent state agencies.
Contracts between you and your Vietnamese spouse must be notarized by the provincial-level Notary Public Office as a basis for house transfer.
After preparing an apartment sale and purchase or donation contract, you have to prepare and file a dossier of application for a residential house ownership certificate to the Hanoi Land Registration Office (add: No. 10, Dang Dung street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi). Such dossier comprises:
+ An application;
+ The original contract on residential house sale and purchase or donation;
+ Papers evidencing the residential house ownership of the seller or donor under the housing law;
+ Copies of papers proving that you are eligible for purchasing and owning residential houses in Vietnam, including: a marriage certificate granted by a competent Vietnamese or foreign agency, enclosed with the Vietnamese passport or permanent residence book and identity card of your Vietnamese spouse; a permanent or temporary residence card or written certification of your permitted residence in Vietnam for at least 12 months, granted by the immigration management agency under the Ministry of Public Security; and that you are not entitled to diplomatic or consular privileges or immunities under Vietnamese law.
+ Receipts of tax and fee payment (if any).
According to the current Personal Income Tax Law, incomes from transfer of real estate between spouses are exempt from personal income tax. You have only to pay registration fee. The registration fee rate for houses and land is 0.5 percent of the fee calculation price.
The dossier-receiving agency will examine your dossier. If the dossier is incomplete, they will promptly provide specific guidance for you to complete your dossier. The time for dossier supplementation is not counted into the time limit for grant of residential house ownership certificate. The dossier-receiving agency will issue to you the receipt to certify that the dossier is complete and clearly state the date of handover of a residential house ownership certificate.
Within 30 days after receiving the complete and valid dossier, the Hanoi Land Registration Office will grant a residential house ownership certificate. In case of refusal, it will reply in writing, clearly stating the reason.
After completing the procedures for apartment sale and purchase and grant of residential house ownership certificate, you will acquire the ownership of the apartment in Vietnam. However, you should note that the maximum duration of residential house ownership is 50 years from the date of your certificate under Vietnamese law. Within 12 months after the expiration of this duration, you will have to sell or donate this apartment to another person.-