Foreign nationals who can't prove having enough financial resources to cover their living costs while in Germany typically do not qualify for a visa. To overcome this issue, a third party living in Germany can file a Declaration of Commitment ("Verpflichtungserklärung“) for the foreign national in question. This Declaration of Commitment must be presented to the German mission abroad during the visa application process.
Extent of the obligation
When filing a Declaration of Commitment you agree to be liable for all your guest's expenses in Germany if they cannot pay for these themselves. This includes, for example:
- Living costs (food, accommodation, clothing)
- Costs for medical treatment and care dependency (proof of sufficient health and nursing care insurance coverage)
- Costs for repatriation to the country of origin (only if your guest refuses to leave Germany voluntarily).
A Declaration of Commitment generally covers a period of up to five years.
You can only submit a Declaration of Commitment if you have sufficient income yourself and do not rely on financial support from the government. Normally, you will be asked to present appropriate verification (e.g. proof of living space, income and insurance). If you do not have enough income yourself, a Declaration of Commitment can also be submitted jointly by two or more persons.
In case you do not hold EU citizenship, filing a Declaration of Commitment furthermore requires the possession of a residence permit that remains valid for the entire duration of your guest’s stay.
1) Declaration of Commitment for a short-term stay of up to 90 days
Please contact either your local Customer Service Center (Hamburg city office) or the Hamburg Welcome Center. You must arrange an appointment sufficiently in advance.
2) Declarations of Commitment for a long-term stay of more than 3 months
Declarations of Commitment for long-term stays must be submitted to your district immigration authority or to the Hamburg Welcome Center. If you want to submit a Declaration of Commitment to the staff of the Hamburg Welcome Center, you need to make an appointment in advance.
Procedure and Documents
A Declaration of Commitment can only be made in person and must be submitted to the relevant authority in written form. The administration fee is EUR 29. The following documents are required:
- your guest’s exact personal details (full name, birth date and birth place, home address abroad, the passport document number is also desirable)
- your valid ID card or passport and – where applicable – your valid residence permit
- anticipated costs for accommodation as well as a proof of sufficient health insurance for your guest
To prove your financial standing, you must also provide:
- if you are an employee: payment slips of the last 3 months (when appropriate: notices of entitlement to Child Benefit, Child Supplement or Parental Allowance)
- if you are a pensioner: a pension notice stating the current amount of your monthly pension
- if you are self-employed or a freelancer: last tax bill and current profit and loss account or any other document stating your monthly net income or current monthly earnings (bank account statements or saving books do not suffice!)
Depending on the individual case, further documents and proof may be necessary.