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"Review" unlimited house ownership for Overseas Vietnamese

18 Jun
More than 87% of the National Assembly through a vote for article 126 of house law and article 121 of land law amendments about the open house purchase, home ownership for overseas Vietnamese, according to which from September 1, 70% Vietnamese Overseas citizenship will be buyed house unrestricted.

With the modification of this, besides Vietnamese overseas citizenship, some other Vietnamese who are entitled to home ownership as full citizens in the country.

It is the direct investment in Vietnam by the investment law; people have contributed to the country, scientists, and writers, who have special skills that the agency’s organization have needs and are working in Vietnam; who have a wife or husband is Vietnamese citizens living in country and ensuring conditions for authorities of Vietnam allow to settle in Vietnam three months onwards.

Above items will be purchased and owned houses associated with land right-used does not limit the amount, with full rights like as sale, give as gifts, for inheritance, change housing for organizations and individuals in the country; mortgage house in credit institutions are allowed to work in Vietnam; the compensation when the Goverment retrieve land by Vietnamese law; the lease, grant power the ownership of the house during do not use…

Thus, about 70% in total over 3 million Vietnamese living abroad are still keeping the original nationality and many overseas national come back to investment, contributing to build the country are encouraged, to ensure that the own home as citizens in the country.

Vietnam origin who do not belong to the object above, the Vietnam agency’s issue free visas and are allowed to reside in Vietnam for three months or more have the right to own a house or an individual apartment in Vietnam for themselves and family members living in Vietnam.

With the “ease” maximum right to the disturbance, anxiety of many delegates through the previous discussion about the ability benefit of policy to speculate, resold to has profit, cause the changes in land market, National assembly expected that can adjust with the regulations on tax policy (tax individuals law, VAT law and upcoming law will have a home tax , land tax) and real estate exchange.

National assembly also “calm down” delegates as modified has designed several “courses” as define by regulations purchasing houses for themselves and family members living in Vietnam.

This purpose to the house ownership has clearly aware of the purpose and use to the Government should have specified, the binding conditions to avoid using the incorrect purpose.

National Assembly also has received, edit some of the details in the draft law by comments of the representatives. Regulations on the subject “scientist, the culture, people with special skills that Vietnam needs” has been redesigned, more closely to “the agencies, organizations of Vietnam have requirements.

Agencies and organizations include: Party, Goverment, and political – social organizations, economic organizations … of Vietnam and is allowed by Goverment.

Amendments law will be effective from 1/9/2009. The draft decree guiding the implementation, Government was also prepared and continue to improve the opinion of the comment delegates.

Vnre – Vietnam Real Estate

Hot Viet Kieu housing debate

8 Jun
In a controversial debate last week, many lawmakers backed a government proposal to allow more Viet Kieu to own houses in the country.

National Assembly deputies discussed the amendment of Article 126 of the Housing Law and Article 121 of the Land Law, both relating to Viet Kieu ownership of houses and land use rights in Vietnam. According to the proposal, Viet Kieu will be allowed to purchase residential housing after three months time residing in Vietnam. Current laws regulate a six-month period.

Those Viet Kieu are seen as key investors in the country, deserving of credit for their contributions to culture, science and many other specialised areas. Those married to Vietnamese will also be allowed to buy property. “They are all required to use the houses for residential purposes for themselves and their families,” said Minister of Construction Tran Hong Quan.

Vietnamese law makers agreed that more favourable policies and conditions for overseas Vietnamese to own houses and use land would facilitate the implementation of the Politburo’s Resolution 36 issued in 2004, which stressed the consideration of overseas Vietnamese as an integral part of the Vietnamese nation.

“A new regulation will also help make the local investment environment more favourable, encouraging overseas Vietnamese to return and contribute to the country,” said deputy Ngo Duc Manh from Binh Phuoc province. Deputy Tran Du Lich from Ho Chi Minh City added that the amendment, if approved, would help regularise “underground transactions” between Viet Kieu and Vietnamese people living within the country.

According to government statistics, overseas Vietnamese sent more than $1 billion into the country, accounting for 16.6 per cent of the total $6 billion of overseas remittance a year, to buy houses in Vietnam under the names of their inland relatives and friends. The strict definition of housing ownership can be mostly attributed to this situation, which has resulted in a series of disputes and appeals over housing ownership.

Yet, some National Assembly delegates have expressed concern over local authorities’ ability to manage the growing number of properties owned by Viet Kieu if the amendment is approved. So far, there have been around 140 overseas Vietnamese who have bought houses in the country, with the biggest numbers reported in Ho Chi Minh City (100) and Hanoi (15).

The government has predicted that the number of overseas Vietnamese buying houses in the next few years will be 10 times higher, at around 1,400 people.

“This is a large number [for local authorities] to manage,” said deputy Nguyen Hong Nhi from central Nghe An province. “The law must therefore define more clearly that people must bear Vietnamese nationality, be at least 18 years old and be able to show proof that their purchasing money is legal and legitimate,” Nhi stressed.

Tran Ngoc Vinh from Haiphong expressed worries over speculation that could lead to an increase in property prices, hence affecting local people, particularly the poor. “The National Assembly therefore needs to approve the law on housing and land taxes to minimise the type of speculation we have seen in the past,” Vinh noted.

The proposed changes to the two articles of the laws were previously discussed three times by the National Assembly Standing Committee and are scheduled to be passed by National Assembly deputies at the end of the National Assembly’s fifth session on June 18.

Source: VIR

Qualified foreigners will be able to buy land from August

8 Jun
Foreign individuals and enterprises having all the required documents will be able to own property beginning in August, according to a Government decree published last Sunday.

“It is really big news for me because it will allow me to live in my father’s country for the rest of my life. Before this, I used to own a house in Ha Noi. However, at that time, it was illegal,” said 52-year-old Le Kim Dung, who was born in Hungary and now teaches art in the capital city.

According to the new decree, foreigners eligible for land-use right certificates will have to obtain a range of documents.

Foreigners who have received a medal from the President recognising their contribution to the country will be eligible to own property.

Otherwise, they must have either an investment certificate proving they have directly invested in a Vietnamese company for more than one year or be a member of the executive board of a foreign enterprise active in Viet Nam.

In addition, all foreigners applying for land-use certificates mast have a resident card or document proving they are permitted to remain in Viet Nam for over 12 months granted by the Ministry of Public Security.

“The procedure is not as complicated as I imagined, so there will be many foreigners like me who wish to own a house in this peaceful country,” said Dung.

Foreign invested enterprises active in Viet Nam with investment certificates of over one year granted by relevant Vietnamese authorities will be allowed to own property. After 30 days, they will be granted the certificate.

Source: Vietnam News

Decree lists documentation for foreigners to buy houses

8 Jun
A certificate of temporary or permanent residence in Vietnam will be the primary requirement for foreigners who want to buy a house in the country, according to a decree that takes effect this August, the government announced on its website yesterday.

Otherwise, they should have permission from immigration authorities in the country to stay in Vietnam for at least one year.

Those granted diplomatic immunity are excluded from the decree, the website said.

The decree stipulates that foreigners who apply to purchase, inherit or gift a house are required to have a valid passport or other equivalent documents, besides specific documents relating to the property and related transactions.

Those making direct investments in Vietnam should have an investment license with their name that is valid for one year or more, or documentation showing they are members of the board of directors of the company operating in the country.

Individuals hired for management positions by enterprises in Vietnam should have a proper working contract.

The category of persons who are eligible to buy houses in Vietnam by virtue of having made significant contributions to the country, should produce the order of merit or medal granted by the Vietnamese President or approval documents forwarded to the Construction Ministry and approved by the prime minister.

Professionals working in specific fields that Vietnam needs expertise in should have relevant education certificates and a working permit issued by Vietnamese authorities.

Those with special skills (in sports, for example) need to have approval certification from related Vietnamese associations.

Foreigners married to a Vietnamese citizen should have the marriage certificate and passport/identity papers of the spouse in Vietnam.

Foreign enterprises working in Vietnam and having an investment certificate valid for at least one year will also come under the purview of the new decree.

Eligible individuals and organizations have to submit applications to the provincial Department of Construction which will be forwarded to the People’s Committee for approval.

The maximum processing period for each application is 30 days, according to the decree, which also stipulates that a foreigner can only buy one house in Vietnam.

Source: Thanhnien News

Deputies at odds over extending Viet Kieu’s home ownership

4 Jun
National Assembly deputies on Tuesday were at odds over house ownership regulations for overseas Vietnamese, also called Viet Kieu, after the Government had suggested to ease conditions to bring them more chances to own homes in the country.

Deputy Pham Xuan Thuong from Thai Binh Province agreed with the Government’s revisions, arguing that Vietnam has no policies to discriminate Vietnamese people in and outside the country.

Besides, just nearly 150 Viet Kieu have been approved to buy houses in Vietnam, mostly in Hanoi and HCMC, after the Housing Law took effect three years ago. “The law should be amended to make positive impacts on the local real estate market,” he said.

However, Thuong thought the law would be infeasible if it regulated Viet Kieu to buy houses for family accommodation only. “We cannot force them to sell houses if they do not live in,” he added.

HCMC deputy Tran Du Lich agreed with the viewpoint, saying perhaps few Viet Kieu would buy houses under the new regulations as it is rather costly to buy a house and live there just several months each year.

“Viet Kieu should be allowed to let out their houses while they are abroad. Otherwise, they should stay in hotels instead of paying more for housing maintenance,” Lich explained.

In contrast, some deputies disagreed, saying that Viet Kieu should not have equal or similar rights to people in the country due to different implementation of tax and other laws.

By Ngoc Lan – The Saigon Times

Foreigners allowed to buy apartments in 2009

23 May
The Government’s resolution to enable foreign organizations and individuals to buy and own property in Viet Nam received backing from 88 percent of National Assembly deputies yesterday.

The approval means that a pilot programme will be underway beginning January 1, 2009, allowing foreign organizations and individuals to buy apartments in areas that allow foreign residency. The purchase of houses will remain banned.

Under the programme, which is slated for a five-year trial, the five categories of non-Vietnamese eligible to buy residences in Viet Nam are as follows:

– Foreigners coming to Viet Nam to invest in the country in accordance with investment regulations;

– Expatriates who have contributed to Viet Nam and arc granted orders or medals by the President and the Prime Minister;

– Foreigners with Vietnamese spouses living in Viet Nam;

– Much-needed foreign specialists working in Viet Nam;

– Foreign-invested businesses not dealing in property that are buying residences to lease to their foreign staff working in Viet Nam.

Those who want to buy dwellings in Viet Nam must have the proper documentation to remain in the country and have been living here for at least one year. Those who buy dwellings will receive neither diplomatic preferential treatment nor immunity from following Viet Nam’s laws.

The resolution regulates that expatriates can own apartments for a maximum of 50 years. After that, the apartments must be either given or sold to others.

Expatriates also have the right to mortgage, transform, inherit and transfer these apartments one year after they are granted housing ownership certificates.

Foreign enterprises are allowed to own apartments for the duration of their business investment licenses.

About 80,000 foreign nationals are now living and working in Viet Nam, of whom about 10,000 would qualify to buy property, the Ministry of Construction estimates.

Role of civil servants

Civil servants have made big contributions to the development of the nation during the past 20 years of renewal, the Minister of Home Affairs, Tran Van Tuan, told the National Assembly here on Wednesday.

Tuan said there were about two million civil servants across the nation. Nearly 1.8 million of them worked from the district level upwards, and the remainder worked at the ward/ communal level.

However, Tuan said the public service had not been able to provide the required changes needed to match the Government’s changing role in society -and the needs of citizens and enterprises.

“There remains many shortcomings and weaknesses in the public service,” Tuan conceded. “Disciplinary attitudes of certain groups of civil servants are poor and so is their professional ability and work performance.”

To make Viet Nam a State governed by laws of the people, for the people and built by the people, it was imperative to have “clean” and highly qualified civil servants.

Based on this argument, the Government has drafted a law on state employees and presented it to the National Assembly for discussion. In his appraisal report, chairman of the National Assembly Judiciary Committee, Nguyen Van Thuan, said the law was very complicated as state employees worked in both government and non-government offices or agencies.

“Even within Government offices, there are officials who are elected, and people who work in administrative or judiciary offices and the law must be able to govern all these people,” Thuan said.

Appraising the draft law, the judiciary committee said it had a feeling those drafting the law were uncertain about what they were trying to achieve.

Although the law will apply to all state employees including civil servants throughout the political system, many provisions only apply to civil servants.

Thuan said the key objective of the new law was to make it an effective tool for improving working efficiency and performances. But he said that in many areas, it would only provide a basic framework for the Government, offices and related organizations to work within.

During discussions about the new law, many deputies asked if people working in communes, wards or towns should be described as civil servants.

Ngo Thi Doan Thanh from Ha Noi said the bill was just a legal framework.

She said many retired Government officials had been elected to People’s Councils at commune/ward or town level. “Should we call these pensioners civil servants?” Thanh asked.

A separate problem connected to employing civil servants was that many university students who graduated with flying colours refused to work in Government offices, Thanh said.

“For example, among the top university graduates, only about 10 per cent choose to work for the Government. The remainder work in private or joint venture companies,” Thanh said.

Tran Ngoc Minh, from the northern port city of Hai Phong, said state employees working at grass roots level should not be described as civil servants.

Pham Thi Thanh Huong, from the southern province of Binh Dinh emphasized the importance of providing a decent salary for civil servants.

“Good salaries help keep civil servants clean,” Huong said. “Present salaries do not encourage good and competent staff to perform their duties properly.”

Nguyen Viet Truong from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang insisted on the importance of having four administration levels – central, provincial/city, district and commune/ward.

“It is important for people working at these levels to enjoy public-service entitlements, ” Truong said.

Definition of a civil servant

Article 4 of the Law on State Employees says State officials and civil servants include the following: Those who are elected to carry out duties in agencies in central and local governments, ranging from provincial/ city level to districts and towns.

Those who are appointed to positions in a political organization or socio-political organization.

Those who are appointed to positions in Government agencies from central to district levels.

Those who are appointed to leadership positions in nonprofit making Government agencies or in political or socio-political organizations.

Those who are judges or procurator at People’s Courts and People’s Procuracies.

Those who are appointed to government agencies or defence units, but who were not army officers, soldiers or members of the police force.

Those who are elected as party secretary or deputy secretary of a Party committee; chairman/vice chairman of a People’s Council or People’s Committee; or the head of a socio-political organization at ward/communal level. Those who are appointed to ward/communal People’s Committees.

Source: Vietnam News

Foreigners allowed to buy apartments in Vietnam from today

4 Jan
Vietnam Real Estate – Starting today, foreigners who meet specific eligibility criteria can own apartments in Vietnam under a National Assembly resolution ratified last May.

According to the Construction Ministry, around 10,000 of 80,000 foreigners living and working in Vietnam are eligible to buy property, specifically apartments in commercial housing projects.

The resolution stipulates five groups of foreign individuals and organizations that are eligible to own houses in Vietnam for terms of up to 120 years.

These include individuals who invest directly in Vietnam or who are hired for management positions by local or foreign-invested companies in the country; foreigners who receive certificates of merit or medals from the president or government for their contributions to the country; foreigners who work in socioeconomic fields, hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and who possess special knowledge and skills that Vietnam needs; foreigners who are married to Vietnamese residents; and foreign-invested enterprises operating in Vietnam that need to buy houses for their employees.

Most foreigners working in Vietnam currently have to hire apartments at high rents of between US$600 and $1,000 per month.

Lawyer Nguyen Van Hong, who works as a legal consultant for an Australian company in Hanoi, said many of his foreign friends had recently asked him to help them to buy an apartment.

Director Tran Minh Thong of a property company in Hanoi also said many foreigners have asked to buy apartments at the Trung Hoa – Nhan Chinh residential zone in Cau Giay District.

Experts said the move to allow foreigners to own apartments and other social housing projects could have positive impacts on the property market which has slowed down recently.

In force

The resolution is among several documents that will take effect today.

In the economic sector, wholly-owned foreign firms are allowed to join the local distribution and retail market from today under Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organization.

Also from today, local enterprises start to pay lower corporate tax of 25 percent, down from 28 percent. They are also allowed to pay tax later than previously.

The personal income tax law will also take effect from 2009, which stipulates that the taxable income threshold is VND4 million ($238) monthly for both locals and foreigners working in Vietnam, with taxpayers allowed deductions of VND1.6 million ($95) for each dependent.

In social sectors, the government starts to provide unemployment insurance under a decree that stipulates that Vietnamese employees who have signed contracts of a least a year will be eligible to get unemployment insurance and will receive compensation of 180 percent of a month’s salary for each year they have worked when losing her/his job..

Under a decision by the Prime Minister, civil servants and soldiers who have low incomes will be paid a monthly support of VND360,000 ($21) apiece in the first four months of this year.

The basic salary at state-owned enterprises will be increased to between VND650,000 ($37) and VND800,000 ($46), from between VND540,000 ($31) and VND620,000 ($35), while those of FDI enterprises will be increased to between VND920,000 ($53) and VND1.2 million ($69), from VND800,000 ($46) and VND1 million ($57).

In HCMC, the new land price adjustment will be implemented from today, with the highest price in District 1’s Dong Khoi, Le Loi and Nguyen Hue streets rising to VND81 million ($4,600) from VND67.5 million ($3,860) per square meter, while the lowest price is in Can Gio District’s Thieng Lieng residential area at VND110,000 ($6.30) per square meter.

Registration fees for cars with less than ten seats in HCMC will rise to 10 percent up from 5 percent.

Source: Thanhnien News