Can I submit a Declaration of Commitment?
When third-country nationals (i.e. citizens of non-EU countries) want to apply for a national visa for Germany, they usually have to prove that they have enough money to support themselves during their stay. If they cannot do so themselves, a person living in Germany can vouch for them under certain circumstances. This can be a relative, acquaintance or a company or institution that can prove they have sufficient funds. Such a guarantee is known as a "Verpflichtungserklärung" or "declaration of commitment". A declaration of commitment can then be presented as proof of financial support for the visa application. Such financial support, however, does not work for all visas - in principle, it only applies to the following visas:
- Student visa
- Vocational Training visa
- Jobseekers visa
- Marriage visa
- Visa for attending a language course/school
Here you can learn everything about the declaration of commitment for long-term visits. In our chapter "Declaration of commitment for a visitor visa", you can learn more about the declaration of commitment for short-term visas.
On July 7th, 2023, a new skilled worker immigration law was passed. It includes numerous changes and amendments to facilitate the immigration of skilled workers and make Germany more attractive to them. It is unclear when exactly these changes and amendments will be enforced. When the time comes, we will update our website– we encourage you to visit us regularly to stay well informed. If you have any further questions, you can always visit our community platform, “Together in Germany”– our community managers will be happy to help!
What do I have to know?
To obtain a visa for Germany, a person has to prove that they can pay the costs of their trip and stay. When someone cannot do so for certain types of visa (student visa, marriage visa, etc.), a third person can submit a so-called "declaration of commitment". This way, that person guarantees to assume all costs for the person entering the country in an emergency. The declaration of commitment also includes the costs of possible medical treatment or deportation.
To be able to submit a declaration of commitment, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be registered in Germany.
- You need to have German citizenship, citizenship of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway or a valid residence permit or settlement permit for Germany. Please note: Your residence permit must be valid longer than the person entering Germany wants to stay here. Important: People with a temporary residence permit ("Aufenthaltsgestattung"), "Duldung" or a so-called "Fiktionsbescheinigung" cannot submit a declaration of commitment.
- You must have enough income and be able to prove it. You can learn more in the section "How can I prove that I have enough money?" and "How much money do I need to have to submit a declaration of commitment?".
The documents you need to prove your financial standing depend on your professional status:
I am an employee:
Your last six payslips. Bring your latest payslip and your bank statements for the previous six months if you do not get a payslip every month.
I am retired:
A confirmation of your retirement pension.
I receive Unemployment Benefit I:
A certificate of the amount of your unemployment benefit.
Please note: If you receive "Bürgergeld" or financial aid from the Social Welfare Office, you cannot submit a declaration of commitment.
I am self-employed or freelance:
- Your last tax assessment or
- A certificate from a tax advisor or auditor affirming your current net income of the last six months
- Proof of the amount of your health insurance contributions if you are privately insured or proof of your contribution to statutory health insurance
The amount of income you have to prove to be able to submit a declaration of commitment depends on the purpose of the visit (education, marriage, etc.). It also depends on whether you are married and/or pay maintenance (for a spouse or children). It is best to inquire directly with the Immigration Office responsible for the requirements.
Here are some examples from 2023 to give you an idea of the approximate level of your minimum income:
- To submit a declaration of commitment for a person who would like to come to Germany to study or start vocational training, you need a monthly net income of at least €2700. If you have to pay maintenance (for a spouse or child), the amount increases to at least €3750 net per month. If you have to pay maintenance for two individuals, you have to earn at least €4378 net per month. The amount increases accordingly if you have to pay maintenance for more people.
- To submit a declaration of commitment for a person who would like to come to Germany to look for a job or to get married, you need a monthly net income of at least €2830. If you have to pay maintenance (for a spouse or child), you must earn at least €3930 net per month. If you have to pay maintenance for two people, the amount increases to at least €4468 net per month. And it increases accordingly if you have to pay maintenance for more people.
- To submit a declaration of commitment for a person who would like to come to Germany for a language course or to attend school, you need a monthly net income of at least €2660 per month. If you have to pay maintenance for a person (spouse, child), the amount increases to at least €3690 net per month. If you have to pay maintenance for two people, you must earn at least €4347 net per month. And the amount increases accordingly in case you have to pay maintenance for more people.
When applying for a visa, a letter of commitment can be used to prove funding for six months. There should be no more than six months between submitting a declaration of commitment and issuing the visa.
The obligation to cover all costs continues until the person for whom you have declared your commitment leaves the Federal Republic of Germany or is granted a residence permit for another reason. Your obligation ends after five years at the latest. Until this point, you must assume all costs for the person in an emergency or repay them if the state incurs costs.
Important: You cannot withdraw your declaration of commitment once the visa has been issued.
With a declaration of commitment, you undertake to cover all costs that the German state could incur from the person for whom you have submitted a declaration of commitment. This includes:
- Cost of living (food, clothing, etc.)
- Cost of accommodation
- Cost of medical care
- Cost of a possible deportation
If the state incurs costs, you must repay them.
You can only submit a declaration of commitment to the Immigration Office in your place of residence in Germany. To do so, you must appear in person and hand in your documents. You can find the address of the Immigration Office of your place of residence at bamf.de.
You need to make an appointment there first. You can usually book one on the website of the Immigration Office. If this is not possible, call them and ask for an appointment. To submit several declarations of commitment, you will need several appointments. Nevertheless, a single appointment is sufficient if you want to submit declarations of commitment for a married couple or parents with minor children. Submitting a declaration of commitment costs € 29.
You must bring the following documents with you to your appointment at the Immigration Office:
- A filled form "Angaben zur Verpflichtungserklärung" for each person for whom you want to submit a declaration of commitment. Exception: for married couples or parents with unmarried minor children, one form is sufficient. You can find the form on the website of the Immigration Office or on-site.
- A filled form "Belehrung zur Speicherung und Nutzung der Antragsdaten im VIS". You can find the form on the website of the Immigration Office or on-site.
- An unsigned form "Zusatzerklärung zur Verpflichtungserklärung". You can find the form on the website of the Immigration Office or on-site.
- Proof of your income. You can find out more in the section "How can I prove that I have enough money?".
- Your ID or your residence permit and passport
- Your registration confirmation
- A copy of the passport (of the person for whom you want to declare commitment)
- Proof of the amount of your rent. This can be, for example, an account statement. If you live in your own house or apartment: Proof of your property (e.g., an extract from the land register or "Grundbuchauszug") and proof of the monthly costs of your house or apartment (e.g. bank statement).
- Records of any other regular expenses you may have. This could be, for example, the cost of a car or supplementary insurance.
- If you pay maintenance to other persons (e.g., a divorced spouse or children): proof of the amount of maintenance.
- Your bank statements from the last few months
- If you are an employee: A document from your employer confirming that you will keep your job- it must also include information on whether your job contract is permanent or temporary.
Please note: The Immigration Office may ask you for further documents. Inquire before your appointment which documents are required in your specific case.
If all of your documents are in order, the Immigration Office will directly produce the declaration of commitment during your appointment. You will receive the original document. Then you have to send it to the person who wants to enter Germany. The person gives this document to the relevant German embassy along with all of their other documents. Whether the person gets a visa is the decision of the embassy.
Currently, there are only admission programmes for Syrian and Iraqi nationals - and that is only in some federal states. You can find more information in this regard at proasyl.de.
Deliberately providing incorrect or incomplete information when submitting a declaration of commitment is a criminal offence. If proven, the perpetrator faces a fine or a prison sentence.