Foreigners cannot own land in Vietnam, period, and they can own construction only according to strict and broad restrictions.
Foreign residents can purchase and own residential property as a place to live, but they cannot own the land on which the property sits. Foreigners can sell, donate, inherit, or give away their residential property but cannot sub-let it. If a foreigner leaves the country without terminating his certificate of ownership, it expires after 90 days, and the state takes control of the residence.
Foreigners can apply for land leases from the State. Currently, a 50-year lease is being marketed. This program allows foreigners rights to an apartment for 50 years with a right to renew. Should foreign property ownership become legal before the lease ends, the title would be transferred to the lessee. Under this land lease, the lessee has rights similar to ownership, including the ability to sub-let the apartment.
Vietnamese property is priced in gold. The buyer must be aware of the conversion rates between gold, dong, and dollar, at all times. Registering property takes about 70 days and is cheaper than in other countries in the region.
While foreigners cannot own land, they can purchase property through a joint venture company with a Vietnamese partner, through a foreign-owned company, or through a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) company.
The minister of construction in Vietnam confirmed in late 2014 that Vietnam will make amendments to loosen foreign land ownership restrictions.