Can foreign visitors on tourist visa stay at private home.?

I keep getting different takes on the above. I have friends that live in leased properties here . When their relatives arrive for a week of two , they were told they need to stay at a hotel.  You lease a house long term for years, and foreign friends visiting can't stay with you.  " Police" say they won't register them because of the short visa ...30 days.  Obviously you can negotiate a settlement , BUT who wants grubby little scum bags hassling for bribes when guests arrive to visit you.  I suppose you could "fly under the radar" but people here soon notice if there's a new kid in town.   

Article 131 of the VN property law states that so long as you've been here at least 3 months  you can lease an apartment or house.  I can't see what it says about foreign family members visiting for a week.   Anyone have any ideas. I'd rather play by the book, since I don't want to screw up my lease arrangement.

Your friend's relatives can live in your friend's apartment as long as the lessor agrees with that.

The lessor will have to make a registration of stay for your friend's relatives. ( And of course there should be " coffee money " for the Police if you want they sign fast ) :sosad: , not much, about $5 or $10 is okie for them :-)

Hi yogi

Of course the police men wont accept to register for a foreigner who has tourist visa only. But if the lanlord registered that her house is a hotel, it is ok.

Thanks guys,
I'm also in the same position, like a lot of other expats.  A mate here actually bought a house, but they still won't register the guest WITHOUT the usual little games.
My children visited last year, but for convenience sake I got them a hotel since I was in a studio. Teenage girls like their space .
  But I've since got a two bedroom apartment, and the owner has permit for foreigners to lease.  I even had a drama getting registered myself !!!!!  My Visa was correct but the Police thought it wasn't .....that's the way it goes.   I bought their Pride and Integrity for a few pennies, and then my Visa was all of a sudden OK.    They didn't  even  understand their own Property Law I quoted to them.  No surprises.
It could be a problem for foreigners thinking of buying a property here.  If your family are going to be hassled on arrival with "coffee money" its  not the best way to be welcomed .   
I suppose it all comes down to the relationship the owner has with the police.


I really feel pity for you a bit cos many Vietnamese just knows money without thinking what their responsibility for the other is.


My employer rents me an apartment in TP HCM, as it is cheaper than a hotel. The lease says that up to three persons can reside in the apartment.

Two weeks ago a fellow employee, and her young daughter, visited HCM for a medical appointment.

I simply took the Mother's ID card around to the Cong An unit down the street and registered her. No fuss, no muss. And no house visit.

I frequently have visitors from other countries and, on the rare occasion I even bother, I simply fill out the form and carry on. How will they know?

I have stayed in remote villages in the north-west and again the process is the same other than an Cong An agent does the deed.

At the entrance to Ba Be National Park visitors complete registration forms at the entrance gate, and you can stay with whomever chooses to host you.

If you walk in to the Cong An as if you know what you are doing, they will unlikely hassle you. If they do hassle you, simply say you will have the visitors stay over in Quan 1.

Chances are they will not even check, and using Quan 1 means they won't even get a 'commission'.

Hi Jaitch,
Did you say commission.......I always thought this was a communist country. Equality for all, no perks and kickbacks for a select few.    Haha ha .

I've never seen a more capitalist ,free enterprise system anywhere.  It's an entrepreneurs picnic. 

You need to know the right people tho...

A group here in Nha Trang just turned up and started dumping landfill in the bay to build a marina, illegally and without approval from anyone. They paid the small fine and just kept going .  Eventually they got the permits and now it's fully up and running.  It'll probably get half finished and become the next "white elephant " around here.

But, back on topic. I suppose I'll join the conga line of bribe payers and have guests stay.

Didn't help my friend tho.  The locals in the street committee said he couldn't have people stay.....??

Good thing the beers cheap eh...

Legally, your foreign acquaintances / friends on a tourist visa cannot register and stay with you even though the landlord agree  :)   They can stay without registration until 'someone' disturb for green bill!

Yogi007 :

I always thought this was a communist country.  Yeah, it's in flag  :)  (No politics, please)
Equality for..... equality of officials in dividing green bills  :)

charmavietnam :

Legally, your foreign acquaintances / friends on a tourist visa cannot register and stay with you even though the landlord agree

IF you are saying someone on a tourist visa can't stay in a rented apartment you are plain wrong.

I rented an apartment used for visiting technicians who installed my water jet cutter. I just moved them in and trotted off to the Cong An with their passports. There were, serially, 4 technicians over a period of 11 weeks.

Not a peep out of our wondrous Peoples Police.

Jaitch :

IF you are saying someone on a tourist visa can't stay in a rented apartment you are plain wrong.

Accompanying guests in houses, not the tenant  :)

charmavietnam :

Accompanying guests in houses, not the tenant

Same, same. The Cong An cannot disallow Foreign visitors to stay over in a house that is already deemed fit for Foreigners without a proper reason.

It is the most natural thing in the world and something I, and others, do regularly, to invite people to stay over.

I suspect it's all about collecting donations. Which I never pay.

Thanks for the replys.  I've managed to find the legal reference for eligibility to lease a property here, ie Article 131 of the VN property law, BUT does anyone know where to look to find the Law about Co habitition between foreigners and VN and the rights of visiting foreign family members being able to stay in a private residence on a 30 day tourist visa.   

I'd like to see it in print somewhere... A lot of expats here in Nha trang have differing opinions on what is "set in stone" as a law.    Two friends here a looking at building houses, a retired US guy has just rented a 4 bedroom house . He thinks his family can come and holiday there. Maybe not.???

If the "authorities" diligently stick to there policy of not allowing visitors on tourist visa stay in your "home" why bother buying/ leasing houses, or  multi bedroom apartments.. A few foreigners have recently bought apartments in Nha trang,.....I wonder how many of them are aware of the pitfalls. It will never be a home for your family to visit if this law is consistently applied.

All i can say is that my mother came to visit my wife and i in Vung Tau last year and we had a visit from the local police. All he did was check her id and visa. No money changed hands and he told her to enjoy her visit.

Yes, you can stay in a home, but the owner of the house or the main tenant must bring the guest's passport to the local police office to register. You can stay one month, 2 months..... whatever the visa on the passport says. I hope this answers your question. I have done this for years now.

We have never had a problem and have had my wifes mother, nephew and niece staying with us several times. We will register them with the local police if their visits become a regular thing though.

We have had several visits from our local policeman who is young and very polite and in fact quite friendly, no money has changed hands either.

The attitude is various from this police to another police. This guy needs a little commission (maybe his background is not good) but another guy doesn't need that money and he is polite as well.

I also know that the salary of a police in VN is quite low; so that we just give him a little support. And as a return, he will be friendly and easy-going with us. Just a little of "coffee money" is not a big thing to us, but it will give happiness to both the police guy and the owner.  :par:

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