Property Disputes in Vietnam
Property disputes in Vietnam are under the jurisdiction of Vietnamese authorities. The Consular Sections of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City cannot provide legal counsel or intervene or otherwise seek to participate in or influence the Vietnamese judicial or administrative processes.
The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City can assist in the following ways:
If you are a U.S. Citizen involved in a property dispute, our American Citizen Services (ACS) units may be able to assist you in identifying courts and offices in the Vietnamese Government that deal with property issues. You may also refer to the list of local attorneys who are licensed to practice law in Vietnam here.
Historical Property Claims Against Vietnam
Despite the passage of time, our office receives a number of requests each year for assistance related to property allegedly taken in the years following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975. The information below is intended to inform U.S. citizens of the history of U.S.-Vietnamese relations as it pertains to such property claims against Vietnam that arose prior to 1995.
In 1995, the Government of the United States and the Government of Vietnam formally normalized diplomatic relations. As part of that historic reengagement, the two governments entered into an Agreement, pursuant to which – among other things – all property claims of U.S. nationals against Vietnam arising prior to January 28, 1995, were fully and finally settled. The Vietnamese government paid to the United States approximately $200 million, and the United States used those funds to compensate U.S. nationals who had already filed property claims with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission at the Department of Justice under a claims settlement program that has since been completed. As a result, where a U.S. national’s claim relates to an alleged taking of property by Vietnam that occurred prior to January 28, 1995, the time to pursue that claim through the U.S. government has expired.
To the extent someone may wish to explore any other remedies that may exist under Vietnamese law or otherwise for such historical property claims, we would suggest you consider seeking out a local attorney in Vietnam. Our ACS unit maintains a list of local attorneys who are licensed to practice law in Vietnam here.