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Vietnam doesn't grant overseas investment certificates to facilitate acquisition of green cards

Vietnam doesn't grant overseas investment certificates to facilitate acquisition of green cards

Friday, August 21, 2015, 16:24 GMT+7

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment does not grant overseas investment certificates to local investors as a necessary step for them to get green cards (permanent residence) from the U.S. administration, a senior official has said. Vu Van Chung, deputy head of the Overseas Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, made the statement to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in response to claims that Vietnamese people can obtain green cards only by investing US$500,000 to $1 million in the U.S. Many Vietnamese firms said they can circumvent the law to transmit money abroad for their clients who are applicants for immigrant investor programs offered by the U.S. and other countries. Such money transmissions are necessary for applicants to prove their financial capability, as required by such programs as the U.S.’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and two other programs of Canada. Regarding this issue, Chung said, “[My] ministry does not grant overseas investment to serve the purpose of buying houses in foreign countries such as the U.S. to get green cards.” In fact, a number of Vietnamese citizens have bought houses in the U.S. and have obtained green cards from the U.S. government, Chung noted. “However, Vietnamese people’s ‘investment,’ or buying houses, in foreign countries with a view to obtaining a green card is a commercial and civil activity that is not considered an investment according to Vietnam’s regulations,” Chung said. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government encourages local investors to invest abroad to exploit, develop and expand export markets for Vietnamese goods, increase the export capacity of local businesses, gain access to advanced technologies, improve management capabilities and create more resources that contribute to the country’s social and economic development. Organizations and individuals that wish to make overseas investments must apply to the ministry for an overseas investment certificate, Chung said. After getting such a certificate, potential investors must be allowed by the State Bank of Vietnam to transmit money to one account abroad to serve their overseas business operations. Such certificates are only granted to those who meet all the conditions required by the certificate granting process, the official said. “What incentives certificate holders can receive from the government of the country where they are investing is their own business, provided that such incentives conform with the relevant laws of their host countries and of Vietnam, as well as applicable international treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory,” Chung said. The official noted that a number of countries have applied policies to grant green cards, or permanent residence, to foreigners who buy a house or make a certain investment in their host country with a view to attracting more foreign capital, boosting the real estate market and generating more jobs for locals. “However, such policies are not related to Vietnam’s overseas investment policy,” Chung affirmed.

71 overseas investment projects licensed

In the first six months of the year, Vietnamese investors had 71 projects abroad with a total registered capital of $279 million in 28 countries and territories, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Russia, the U.S., Germany and Australia, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said.

In the U.S. alone, Vietnamese investors are implementing nine projects with a total investment of $51 million.

All 71 projects have clear business goals and their investors are reporting regularly to competent agencies in Vietnam.

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