Can I submit a declaration of commitment?
To obtain a visitor visa for Germany, third-country nationals (non-EU citizens) usually have to prove that they have enough money to support themselves during their stay, even if they only want to visit family or friends for a short time. But if someone cannot prove they have enough money themselves, someone living in Germany can vouch for the visitor(s). This can be a relative or acquaintance - or a company or institution in Germany that can prove they have enough money. Such a guarantee is known as a "Verpflichtungserklärung" or "declaration of commitment", and visitor(s) can present it to the embassy as proof of funding when they apply for their visa(s).
Here you can learn whether and how you can submit a declaration of commitment for a visitor visa. You can find all the other details about visitor visas in our chapter "Visitor Visa". And, you can learn more about the declaration of commitment for long-term stays in our chapter "Declaration of commitment for a national visa".
What do I need to know?
To visit Germany, one often has to prove that they can pay for their trip and stay in Germany. When someone cannot do so, a third person can make a so-called "declaration of commitment" for them. With such a declaration, the third person undertakes to bear the costs for the visitor(s) in an emergency, including costs of medical treatment or possible deportation.
If, for instance, friends or family members of yours want to apply for a visa for Germany but cannot prove that they can pay the expenses for the trip and their stay, you can submit a declaration of commitment for them.
To be able to submit a declaration of commitment, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be registered in Germany.
- You must have German citizenship, or the citizenship of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, or a valid residence permit or permanent residence permit in Germany. Please note: Your residence permit must be valid for longer than your visitor's stay in Germany. Important: People with a residence permit, tolerated stay permit ("Duldung") or a so-called "Fiktionsbescheinigung" cannot submit a declaration of commitment.
- You must have enough income or savings and be able to prove it. You can find out more about in the section "How can I prove that I have enough money?" and "How much money do I need to have to declare my commitment for a visitor?".
The documents you can submit as proof of funding depend on your employment status:
I am an employee:
Your last three payslips. In case you don't receive a payslip every month, hand in your latest payslip and your bank statements from the previous three months.
I am retired:
Certificate of your retirement pension
I receive unemployment benefit I:
Certificate of your unemployment benefits
Please note: You cannot submit a declaration of commitment if you receive unemployment benefit II (Hartz 4) or financial aid from the Social Welfare Office.
I am self-employed/freelancer:
- Your last tax assessment or
- A certificate from a tax advisor or auditor stating your current net income of the last three months
- Proof of the amount of your health insurance contributions if you are privately insured or proof of your membership in a statutory health insurance scheme
I do not have a regular income, but I have savings:
Proof of the amount of your savings. Important: You must hand in the original document. Only savings accounts or time deposit accounts at German banks are accepted, i.e., accounts at foreign banks, stocks, funds, etc., are not recognised as proof.
The amount of income or savings you need depends on who/how many people you want to invite to Germany. It also depends on whether you are married and/or have children.
If you are unmarried and have no children, expect the following sums:
- For a person of legal age, you need at least an income of € 1,265 net per month or a savings credit of at least € 15,180. For each additional adult you want to invite, the required net income increases by € 333 per month and the required savings credit increases by € 4,000.
- You need at least an income of € 1,502 net per month for one adult and one child or a savings credit of at least € 18,030. For each additional child, the required net income increases by € 237 per month and the required savings credit by € 2,850.
- If you only want to invite a minor, you need at least an income of € 1,169 net per month or a savings credit of at least € 14,030.
Please note: If you have children or a spouse without their own income, the minimum income or the minimum savings balance you need increases. Inquire at the Immigration Office about the minimum income or minimum savings balance in your specific case.
A letter of commitment can be used for six months as proof of funding when applying for a visa. There should be no more than six months between the submission of the declaration of commitment and issuing the visa.
The obligation to pay all costs applies until the visitor(s) leaves the Federal Republic of Germany or is granted a residence permit on different grounds. Your obligation ends after five years at the latest. Until that point, you must assume all costs for the visitor in an emergency or repay them if the state incurs costs.
Important: Once the visa has been issued, you cannot withdraw your declaration of commitment.
With a declaration of commitment, you assume all costs that the German state could incur from the visitor in question, including:
- 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 the person.
You can only submit a declaration of commitment to the Immigration Office at 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 relevant Immigration Office at bamf.de.
You need an appointment to hand in the documents - and you can usually book one on the Immigration Office's website. If this is not possible, call them and ask for an appointment. To submit several declarations of commitment (for several visitors), you will usually need separate appointments. However, if you want to make a declaration of commitment for a married couple or parents with underage children, a single appointment will be sufficient.
Submitting a declaration of commitment costs € 29.
You must bring the following documents with you to your appointment at the Immigration Office:
- A completed 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, a single form is sufficient.
- A completed form "Belehrung zur Speicherung und Nutzung der Antragsdaten im VIS"
- An unsigned form "Zusatzerklärung zur Verpflichtungserklärung"
- Evidence of your income or savings
- Your ID or residence permit and passport
- A copy of the passport of the person for whom you want to make a declaration of commitment
Please note: The Immigration Office may require further documents from you.
If all of your documents are in order, the immigration authorities will generate the declaration of commitment directly during your appointment, and you will receive the original. You have to send the document to the person who wants to enter Germany to hand it to the German embassy along with all their other documents. Whether the person will finally be issued a visa is a decision of the embassy.
Deliberately providing incorrect or incomplete information when submitting a declaration of commitment is a criminal offence. If proven, the perpetrator may face a fine or prison sentence.