Settle in Hoi An: Interview of Alex, who owns a Real Estate agency in Hoi An

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How to buy or rent a property in Hoi An?

This month, we met Alex Hartley, French expat living in Hoi An since 2008.

He founded his Real Estate company Nha Toi ( My home in English) and helps new people settling in Hoi An, Da Nang and the surroundings. We asked him a few questions:

Please describe what you do?

Every day I search for new properties for rent and for sale in Hoi An, Da Nang and the suroundings. I negotiate the rates with property owners, give them some advice and I then advertise their properties. I aim to provide a stress free experience in relocating to this beautiful country that is Vietnam. I break the language barriers as we are the middle people between the owners and the clients. We negotiate on behalf of client contract terms and conditions; and during their stay we are the no 1 contact in assisting them. My work would not be possible without the help of Ly and Ha my two colleagues.

What are the formalities to relocate to Hoi An as an expatriate?

First of all, one must apply for a 3 month visa to be legally allowed to stay in a private accommodation.If one intends to work in Vietnam, it is very handy to have to bring along diplomas as in order to work in Vietnam, your skills and expertise must demonstrate that a given company would be better off hiring you than a local.

Can a foreigner own a property in Vietnam?

Difficult question… Yes to some extent, a foreigner is allowed to pruchase a apartment or condo with a 50-70 year leasehold condition. For private houses and land, its more complicated and I would suggest contacting me and I will explain the different options available.

If you are a Viet Kieu (A foreigner of Vietnamese origins), you are now legally allowed to own property in Vietnam as long as you can demonstrate that you are a resident – a 3 month visa suffice. 

Can a foreigner open a company in Vietnam?

A big YES. A lot less complicated than most would say. It is important to deal with a good lawyer and let them assist you through the process. And I would like to add that if you intend to stay in Vietnam for a while, and you are running a business undeclared, I would advise that you start applying for a business licence as things may get more complicated in the future for expats with tourist visas operating businesses.
How many French people live in Vietnam?

Its hard to say, to be declared as an expat one must declare their expat status to the French Embassy. According to france diplomatie we are around 6000 french citizens living in Vietnam. My guess is more around 15000.

Can foreigners work in Vietnam ? What are the requirements?

Yes, there are plenty of jobs available for expatriates especially in Hanoi and HCMC. But one must have qualifications to be entitled to a working permit.

Are their health insurances in Vietnam?

Most companies would offer an insurance cover for their employees. If this is not the case there are plenty of options available international and local insurance companies.

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