Are foreigners allowed to buy agricultural land in Vietnam?
24/09/2020 16:55 | Source: Thanhnienviet
Vietnam is a country that thrives on agriculture. As agriculture is the base of the country's economy, the Law on Land provides many regulations to protect and improve agricultural land. Agricultural land is allocated to people for agricultural production and the person to whom the land is assigned is not allowed to use agricultural land for the wrong purpose, unless approved by the competent state authority. So can foreigners buy agricultural land in Vietnam?

Q: I’m an overseas Vietnamese living in Germany. One of my German friend asked me whether he could go to Vietnam and buy agricultural land in Da Lat to set up a farm. I wonders what Vietnamese law says about this case? 

(Minh, from Germany)

can foreigners buy agricultural land in Vietnam?
Can foreigners buy agricultural land in Vietnam?

Mr. Minh’s question is answered by Thai An Law Firm as follows:

Pursuant to Article 5, Vietnam’s Law on Land 2013, land users may be allocated land or leased land, have land use rights recognized by the State, or receive transfer of land use rights in accordance with this Law, including:

- Domestic organizations, including state agencies, people’s armed forces units, political organizations, socio-political organizations, economic organizations, socio-politico-professional organizations, social organizations, socio-professional organizations, public non-business organizations, and other organizations as prescribed by the civil law (below referred collectively to as organizations);

- Domestic households and individuals (below referred collectively to as households and individuals).

- Communities, including Vietnamese communities residing in the same village, street quarter or similar residential area sharing the same customs and practices or the same family line.

- Religious establishments, including pagodas, churches, oratories, shrines, monasteries, abbeys, religious schools, head offices of religious organizations, and other religious establishments.

- Foreign organizations with diplomatic functions, including diplomatic representative missions, consulates, other foreign representative agencies with diplomatic functions recognized by the Vietnamese Government, representative missions of organizations of the United Nations, inter-governmental agencies or organizations, and representative missions of inter-governmental organizations.

- Overseas Vietnamese as prescribed by the nationality law.

- Foreign-invested enterprises, including 100% foreign-invested enterprises, joint-venture enterprises, Vietnamese enterprises in which foreign investors purchase shares, merge or acquire in accordance with investment law.

Pursuant to these provisions, foreigners are not on the list of subjects with recognition of land use rights in Vietnam. Besides, Clause 1, Article 169 of the Law on Land 2013, regulating the recipients of land use rights, also does not mention foreigners. This means that foreigners are not prioritized for land allocation under Vietnamese law, so they can only buy houses for residential purposes (not exceeding 50 years, under certain conditions), not agricultural land.

Because of the above reasons, Mr. Minh's foreign friend is not allowed to buy agricultural land in Da Lat, Vietnam to set up a farm as his plan.