So, are you planning to invite a Friend or Family to Germany for a short term stay? Do you need an invitation letter for your visitor? Are you looking for an obligation letter or declaration of commitment? Do you think that an invitation letter or an obligation letter are the same documents? In this blog, we are going to share the application procedure, fees, requirements, and the person who can write it. Read it till the end to get a better understanding of the obligation letter.
🔶 Related Topic: Invitation Letter in Germany for Your Friends & Family
Obligation Letter [Verplichtungerklärung] Defined
Obligation letter is a document which assures that you can financially support the person you are inviting to Germany. This is a critical document but necessary to provide during your visa application. In Germany, it is called Verpflichtungserklärung which is also known as formal obligation or letter of commitment.
Do not confuse yourself by considering the invitation letter and obligation letter the same same documents as they both are different. To read more information about invitation letter read our another blog “Inviting Friends and Family to Germany”.
You can submit the declaration of commitment for your visitor. It is a necessary document if the visitor is applying for a short term visa and cannot pay for the costs which will incur during his or her stay in Germany.
Purpose of The Obligation Letter [Verplichtungerklärung]
The main objective to get the obligation letter is to ease the process of applying for a visa to visit Germany. This document is used as evidence that you can financially bear the cost of living and other expenses during your stay in Germany.
With the declaration of commitment, you undertake that you can bear all costs incurred during stay in Germany. These costs usually include;
- Cost of livelihood in Germany such as; food, drink, accommodation, clothing, medical expenses, nursing care, and so on.
- Return costs; the costs incurred in the event if authorities have to send you back to your home country under compulsions.
Validity of Verplichtungserklärung
Once declaration of commitment is issued, it is valid for up to 6 months and is recognized by the German missions abroad. Maximum validity period for a national visa is 5 years from the date of issuance of the document. The good thing about Verpflichtungserklärung is that you can prolong it. Let us suppose that you came to Germany for 2 years of your degree program. Your declaration of commitment will be issued to you for a period of 2 years. Unfortunately, due to some reasons, you could not complete your degree program within the given period of 2 years. You can request to extend the declaration of commitment for an additional period you need to complete your education. It will not happen automatically so your sponsor in Germany will reapply for the Verpflichtungserklärung and fees will also apply to extend the declaration of commitment.
When Verplichtungerklärung becomes invalid?
It is very important to know the events when your declaration of commitment will not be acceptable. There are scenarios in which your Verpflichtungserklärung will not work. Read the scenarios below;
- The document is expired
- Purpose of the visit has changed. For example, you came to Germany for education but converted your study visa to a job visa.
- You left Germany.
Who Can Provide The Letter of Obligation (Verpflichtungserklärung)?
Being sponsor in Germany, if you want to apply for the formal obligation letter, you should meet a few requirements as given below;
- Sponsor should reside in Germany.
- He or she should be a German citizen or citizen of an EU country
- He or she must have a valid resident permit (valid for the duration of visit of the visitor)
- He or she should show enough credit worthiness. (This is important to get your application approved soon. This will make sure that the person sponsoring the visit has enough and adequate money and resources to cover the expenses.
The Foreigners office in Germany will check and examine if the sponsor meets the criteria to cover your financial needs. The authorities will carefully examine the provided evidence of income, residence rights, accommodation conditions, and a few other factors.
Proof of Credit Worthiness
You might have this question in your mind about how much money is enough to prove the credit worthiness. This depends on various factors like;
- Marital status of the sponsor
- Maintenance obligation (number of dependent child or children)
- Purpose of the stay in Germany
- The area of Germany where the sponsor lives
- Proof of enough savings if there is no monthly income.
Least monthly net income is also accepted by the German authorities if the sponsor is single and has no child which means no maintenance obligation.
Let us discuss the required net income with an example for your better understanding. Here is the example,
If you are sponsoring someone for studies in Germany, you must have a net income of at least circa 2500 Euros. In Berlin, to sponsor a student, the sponsor must have a net income of at least 2450 Euros to get the declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung).
Required Monthly Net Income
The main question is how many people you can invite with how much monthly net income. It entirely depends upon the number of dependents. Refer to the table below to see the required monthly net income for dependents in Germany.
Here is another table in which required monthly net income is mentioned for inviting persons to Germany. Refer to the table below;
Total required monthly net income should be more than the sum of income required for dependents and the income required to invite the persons to Germany.
If you are a single person and inviting your spouse to Germany, your required monthly net income for the eligibility would be;
Number of Visitors Monthly Net Income
Single 416 Euros
Couple 748 Euros (374 Euros per person)
0 to 6 years old child 240 Euros
7 to 14 years old child 296 Euros
Single person = 1040 Euros
Spouse = 416 Euros
Total = 1456 Euros
So, your salary should be greater than 1456 Euros to invite your spouse to Germany.
If your salary is less than 1456 Euros, there are two options for you to increase the chances of your application approval;
Your Status Monthly Net Income
Single 1040 Euros
Couple 1570 Euros
Family of 3 means 1 child 1800 Euros
Family of 5 or more 2520 Euros
- Show the bank statement
- Or deposit some amount
For adults, you need to deposit 2500 Euros per adult, whereas for minors, you must deposit 1250 Euros. You will get your deposit back at the time when your spouse will leave Germany.
Who Can Not Be The Applicant?
The sponsor cannot get the letter of obligation if he or she;
- Is receiving social benefits like unemployment benefit
- Do not have relevant residence status (the person holding a temporary resident permit cannot apply for the formal obligation letter)
- Is an asylum seeker
From Where You Can Get Your Obligation Letter?
You can get your obligation letter from Auslanderbehorde which is a foreign office. You can find your nearest or city foreign office by typing Auslanderbehorde + city name in google. Visit the location to apply and get your obligation letter.
How Can You Send an Obligation Letter to The Visitor?
Remember the visitor should have the letter in hand while applying for the visitor’s visa in his or her home country’s German embassy. They need the original document in hand as they do not process visa applications on the print of an email or a copy of the submitted letter. Do not send the letter of obligation via email. You can send it through the postal service or give it by hand if you or someone else is visiting the home country.
Cost and Fees Associated with The Declaration of Commitment
Do not worry about the costs associated with the declaration of commitment application procedure. You are not the one to pay the fees as your sponsor will have the cost to have a declaration of commitment. The cost to have a declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung) is 29 Euros and 14.50 Euros for minors. Fee can be paid in two ways as given below;
- Debit card
The fee is not refundable. If the application for declaration of commitment is rejected by the foreigners office due to the lack of credit worthiness of the sponsor, the sponsor still needs to pay the processing fee of the application.
Important Instructions for Verpflichtungserklärung (Obligation letter)
Here are the few important instructions for you;
- Keep in mind that requirements may vary for applicants living in different cities. While applying for the formal obligation letter, you should always check the requirements and application procedure on the website of your local foreigners office.
- If you have changed the purpose of your visit to Germany, you can use your declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung) to prove that you can manage your finances in Germany. Your sponsor will submit the application to the foreigners office to renew the document.
- The declaration of commitment document have information of both sponsor and visitor. This information usually include;
- Personal details; name, address, phone number.
- Relationship with the sponsor.
- Date of the document when it is issues.
- Expiry of the document.
- Purpose of the stay in Germany.
- The foreign office or immigration office may ask you a few questions about the visitor when you fix your appointment for the application of the obligation letter. These questions are;
- How many visitors are you inviting to Germany?
- What is the marital status of the visitor?
- What is the parental status of the visitor?
- What is the purpose of their visit to Germany?
- For how many days or weeks you are inviting your visitor to Germany?
- What would be the period of their visit?
- What is the legal residence status in Germany?
- Other questions according to your case specifications and details.
- Take care of your document as you will not get the original document again. If you lost your letter of obligation, the German consular services abroad will not accept the reproduced or photocopied or scanned version of the document during your visa application process. To get the original document again, you need to go through the whole application process again, reapply, provide the evidence again, and get a new declaration of commitment. So, it is always better not to lose your original letter once you receive it.
- You would not be financially responsible for the visitor’s expenses once the visitor;
- Leave Germany
- Gets residence permit
- Purpose of stay changed
- If you are inviting a couple to Germany who are related, only one form is required. For Family of 3 with minors, you would need one form. For two adults, you would need separate forms for each.
Application Process for Formal Obligation Letter
Here are the basic requirements, procedure, and time frame of the formal obligation letter.
Basic Requirements to Apply for The Formal Obligation Letter
In order to complete your application and get the declaration of commitment successfully, you need to fulfill a few of the basic requirements. Being a sponsor, you need to provide the below mentioned data and documents.
- Filled application form.
- Proof of your monthly income (original as well as copy). Proof can be any of the below documents;
- Letter of employment
- Salary slips of last 3 months
- Most recent tax assessment
- Monthly income document from tax advisor
- Proof of savings if there is no income
- Identity card or passport (original as well as copy).
- Residence permit if you are a foreign citizen
- Registration certificate (original as well as copy). This document shows the address of the sponsor where he or she lives.
- Rental agreement (original as well as copy).
- Property documents if the sponsor have own flat or house to live in.
- Personal details; first name, last name, country of residence, nationality, date of birth, place of birth, address in your home country, etc.
- Information regarding the purpose of your visitor’s stay in Germany must be clear.
- Arrival and departure date must be mentioned.
- Information regarding length of your visitor’s stay in Germany
- Additional documents based on your specific case as per German authorities.
Being a sponsor, if you fail to provide any document or copy of the document wherever required, you need to pay the additional fee of circa 0.5 Euros to the foreigners office for each photocopy which will enhance the total cost of your application and you would pay more than 29 Euros for your application.
Procedure to Apply for The Declaration of Commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung)
Procedure may vary from city to city as we already mentioned in the section of important instructions above. But, here we are going to mention a general procedure to apply for the declaration of commitment. See the step by step procedure below;
- Book an appointment at the foreigners office in Germany. You can book your appointment online, via phone, or in person.
- Visit the foreigners office on the appointment date and time.
- Submit the required documents and the data with the application in the foreigners office in Germany.
- Pay the application fee which is non refundable either you get application approval or rejection.
- Sit back and relax! The foreigners office will inform you if the Application is successful or not.
If the application is successful, the sponsor will get a two pager document along with signatures of the German authorities. Sponsor should also sign the document after receiving it.
Time Frame to Get Application Response
The complete application process takes only a few minutes and you will get the signed obligation letter if there is no discrepancy in your application. If the application meeting is late due to any reason, it can take another day to process the application and get it signed, and you will get your declaration of commitment on the next day.
So, the declaration of commitment, or the formal obligation is a very crucial document for your German visa application. Keep in mind all above information so you can easily apply for the visa and might go to visit Germany to fulfill your objective. Keep in mind that without having a Verpflichtungserklärung in hand, the German embassy of your country would not process your visa application easily or they might also reject your German visa application. All the best to your application.