Can foreigners without a temporary residence card in Vietnam rent an apartment for a long term?

Can foreigners who do not have a temporary residence card in Vietnam rent an apartment for the long term?- htlaw

A Temporary Residence Card is a type of document issued by the immigration authorities or the competent authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreigners allowed to reside in Vietnam for a limited period and serves as a substitute for a visa

For cases where the residency period is one year or longer, foreigners will be considered for a Temporary Residence Card, which also serves as a multiple-entry visa.


II. If you have a Temporary Residence Card, do you still need to apply for a visa?

When a foreigner has been granted a Temporary Residence Card in Vietnam and it is still valid, there is no need to apply for a visa when entering or residing in Vietnam because when foreigners want to enter the country, except for cases exempt from visas, they must apply for a visa. However, whether you apply for a visa for tourism, visiting relatives, investment, etc., it will have a validity period of up to 12 months for single or multiple entries. When the visa expires, you need to apply for an extension if you wish to continue staying in Vietnam or leave the country. In contrast, the Temporary Residence Card allows foreigners to enter and reside in Vietnam for a longer period than a visa, but not exceeding 5 years. Therefore, when foreigners have resided in Vietnam and have been granted a Temporary Residence Card, there is no need to apply for a visa to enter and exit the country. When you want to enter or exit the country, you just need to present the Temporary Residence Card along with your passport. 

In addition, if foreign workers or investors frequently travel in and out of Vietnam but do not have a Temporary Residence Card, they need to regularly apply for new or extended Vietnam visas, causing a significant waste of time and costs for both individuals and businesses. Therefore, applying for a Temporary Residence Card will bring significant benefits, such as:

  • Having a Temporary Residence Card ensures that foreigners have the right to reside in accordance with Vietnamese law without having to apply for or extend visas, avoiding time and costs.
  • For cases of foreigners who frequently travel to and from Vietnam, applying for a Temporary Residence Card will facilitate ease of travel.
  • Moreover, having a Temporary Residence Card will avoid the need to affix multiple entry visas to your passport.

III. Next, let's find out the conditions for foreigners to rent apartments.

Regarding the subject conditions, the conditions for foreigners to rent apartments are:

According to Article 119 of the 2014 Housing Law, 

“2. The conditions for parties participating in housing transactions are as follows:

b) If it is a foreign individual or a Vietnamese residing abroad, they must have the legal capacity to perform civil acts to carry out housing transactions in accordance with Vietnamese law, must be eligible to own housing in Vietnam under this Law, and are not required to register temporary residence or permanent residence at the place where housing transactions are conducted.”

IV. The Temporary Residence Declaration for Foreigners Entering Vietnam:

In addition to having a visa/temporary residence card to legally reside in Vietnam, foreigners are also required to declare their temporary residence with the local police in the commune, ward, township, or police station where the foreigner resides (including tourist accommodations, guesthouses, housing areas for foreigners working, studying, or receiving medical treatment, private houses, etc. – collectively referred to as ‘Accommodation Facilities’). The temporary residence declaration must be made within 12 hours – 24 hours (depending on the area) from the time the foreigner arrives at the Accommodation Facility.

The responsibility for temporary residence declaration lies with the representative of the Accommodation Facility or the person authorized, directly responsible for managing and operating the Accommodation Facility; for Accommodation Facilities for foreigners to rent for long-term stays where the owner of the Accommodation Facility does not reside, or houses owned by foreigners, the person named in the lease contract or house purchase contract is responsible for making the temporary residence declaration for the foreigner staying at that Accommodation Facility (referred to as the ‘Owner of the Accommodation Facility’).

Please note that although the temporary residence declaration is the responsibility of the Owner of the Accommodation Facility, failure to make the declaration can affect various administrative procedures related to foreigners because the Temporary Residence Declaration for Foreigners is a mandatory document when carrying out these procedures, such as:

  • Procedures for obtaining new visas/temporary residence cards;
  • Procedures for obtaining criminal record certificates for foreigners in Vietnam; and
  • Affecting the process of granting work permits to foreigners in cases where foreigners do not have Vietnamese criminal record certificates (and do not have foreign criminal record certificates issued to replace them).

Therefore, foreigners should be aware of this issue and work with the Owner of the Accommodation Facility to ensure timely compliance with the temporary residence declaration requirements, avoiding any adverse effects on their activities in Vietnam.

Based on the answers to these two questions, HTLaw concludes that foreigners who do not have a Temporary Residence Card in Vietnam can still rent apartments for the long term.”

To save time on researching procedures, filling out forms, notarization, and waiting to submit documents, you can contact HT for consultation and support regarding The Temporary Residence Card.

Contact us:


Phone: +84 935 439 454.

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