Some 100,000 overseas Vietnamese could buy homes in Vietnam, according to the National Committee of Overseas Vietnamese.
The committee, which operates under the Foreign Ministry, announced the figures following Construction Minister Do Hong Quan’s report on a proposed amendment to the Housing Law sent to the Prime Minister last week.
Under the amendment, more overseas Vietnamese will be allowed to buy houses in Vietnam, according to Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam.
Individuals of Vietnamese origin living abroad but still holding Vietnamese nationality would be allowed to purchase homes, he added.
Other permitted to buy homes include those who no longer have nationality but invest in the country in accordance with the Foreign Investment Law, and those who have married local residents who live in Vietnam.
Overseas Vietnamese who have made significant contributions to Vietnam and others who hold university or higher degrees and currently work in social and economic areas in Vietnam are also included.
Under the amended law, they will be allowed to own an unlimited number of houses like the locals.
Nam said the amendment showed that the Government recognised the overseas Vietnamese community as an inseparable part of the country.
Under a decree issued by the Government in November 2001, overseas Vietnamese who make a long-term investment in Vietnam , or those who make considerable contributions to their native country, conduct cultural and scientific activities in Vietnam and want to have permanent residence in Vietnam , are entitled to buy only a house, an apartment or a villa in permitted residential areas.
According to figures from the Ministry of Construction, eight years after the issuance of the decree, only 130 overseas Vietnamese have purchased houses in Vietnam, mainly in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.