Two friends are hugging in this picture. A beach and the sea can be seen in the background. A declaration of commitment for visitors offers the inviting party both opportunities and risks.

Declaration of commitment for visitors: How to invite relatives and friends to Germany!

A declaration of commitment for visitors is important if you want to invite relatives or friends from abroad to Germany for a short stay. This blog article will help you to understand what you need to look out for in the declaration of sponsorship for visitors and why this declaration is so important for the successful invitation of a relative, acquaintance or friend from abroad.

Table of contents
Declaration of commitment for visitors: How to invite relatives and friends to Germany!

Importance of a declaration of commitment for visitors

The declaration of commitment for visitors is an essential part of the process of inviting a non-EU foreigner to Germany. For the German state, the declaration of commitment is a safeguard in case costs are incurred for the period of the visitor's stay.

What is a declaration of commitment for visitors?

The declaration of commitment according to § 68 AufenthG is a document that is required for inviting a foreigner. The declaration of commitment is a kind of reinsurance for the state if the visitor causes damage or incurs costs. In this case, these costs and damages must be borne by the signatory of the declaration of commitment if they cannot be paid by the visitor themselves. 

Legal issues are often misinterpreted in the declaration of commitment for visitors. For example, the signatory of the declaration of commitment cannot exercise rights vis-à-vis the visitors and make rules to minimize damage or urge visitors to leave the country. 

What is the aim and purpose of the declaration of commitment?

The letter of guarantee is suitable in the event that a person from abroad wishes to apply for a visa for Germany and is unable to provide financially for the period of their stay. In this case, the visitor has the option of asking a third person to vouch for him/her. The declaration of commitment is also important if you want to bring a family member to Germany as part of family reunification. 

For this purpose, there is a declaration of commitment for visitors, which is then signed by the respective third party. The aim of this is to ensure that the German state is covered in the event that damage or costs arise and that the state itself is not stuck with the costs because the visitor is not in a position to pay for these costs or damage.

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With these conditions the invitation will NOT work!

As with all official documents, there are important basics that should be understood when it comes to the declaration of commitment for visitors. They show the clear conditions that must be observed for such a written declaration and guarantee. Not every citizen in Germany can submit a declaration of commitment. Some citizens do not meet the conditions and it is important to be informed about this so that you do not make a declaration in vain. 

Benefits according to AsylbLG, SGB II or SGB XII

If you receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (AsylbLG), SGB II or SGB XII, you cannot submit a declaration of commitment. The immigration authorities will not accept a declaration of commitment in such cases. 

Work during probationary period

If you are still on probation and have not yet completed the 6-month probationary period, submitting a declaration of commitment will not work either. The Foreigners' office requires security for the period so that you can cover the costs of your visitor. During a probationary period, it is always possible to be dismissed and no longer have the option of guaranteeing any costs. 

Residence permit with whom the invitation does not work

The declaration of commitment may also not be submitted if the person signing the declaration of commitment only has a residence permit, Tolerance permit, a visa for visitor purposes or a short-term residence permit. In this case too, there is no guarantee that the person will be able to pay for the period. With these residence permits, it is also always possible to be deported and this uncertainty makes it impossible for a visitor to become a guarantor. 

The visit works with these conditions

You can submit a declaration of commitment if you meet most of the requirements. It is important that you are not in possession of the above-mentioned residence permits and that you are legally resident in Germany.

Income for the visitor

If you are invited to Germany, it is important that you have documents to prove that you can support yourself and your visit. Whether you have a Settlement permit or another legal Residence permit does not matter. It must be clear to the authorities that you are financially able to cover the costs of the visitor or family member.

The prerequisite is, of course, that the visitor is not able to cover the costs themselves. If the visitor can clearly prove that they are financially able to cover the costs themselves, then a declaration of commitment for visitors is not necessary, as the person can take care of themselves. 

In this picture you can see a woman signing a document. Another woman is standing next to her

Content of a declaration of commitment for visitors

A declaration of commitment for visitors is always structured according to the same model. It is a comparable document for each authority. The only difference is the authority to which the document is submitted. The structure of the form is always the same.

Details of the author of the declaration of commitment

First of all, the declaration of commitment contains information about the inviting party. So if you are inviting a person, your first name, surname, date of birth, place of birth and full address are required.

Personal details of the visitor

The core component of the declaration of commitment for visitors is the visitor's personal details. The surname, first name and date of birth of the visitor are written here. The visitor's nationality and marital status are also recorded here.

Reason and duration of the visit

Another important point is the information on the reason for the visit and the duration. It is stated here whether the visitor is coming on a visitor visa or a family reunification visa. It also states exactly how long the duration of the stay in the Federal Republic of Germany is and when the visitor must leave again.

The retention of the guarantee

Finally, the declaration of commitment sets out the financial obligation to cover all of the visitor's costs. Liability for any damage caused by the visitor is also stipulated here. Both points are signed in the declaration of commitment.

Applying for and issuing the declaration

There is a precise form for the declaration of commitment for visitors, which must be strictly adhered to. It is crucial that you adhere to this form and the requirements. This is the only way to successfully submit the declaration of sponsorship and to ensure that the invitation to Germany is successful.

Which authority is responsible

According to the Federal Foreign Office, the respective Foreigners' office in the place of residence of the applicant for the formal obligation is responsible for processing the formal obligation for visitors. The Federal Ministry for Migration and Refugees offers a navigator. With this navigator, you can enter the zip code, town and address and the nearest authority will be displayed.

Which documents are required

In order for the declaration of commitment to be successful, you must present various documents. The documents include an official ID that can be used to verify the identity of the signatory. An identity card, a passport with a registration certificate or an electronic Residence permit (eAT) is sufficient for this.

Proof of income for the last 3 months is also required. This may include, for example, a certificate from your tax advisor about your average net income, possibly proof of child benefit or parental allowance, or payments from maintenance obligations. 

Proof of savings is also helpful. In general, the more evidence you provide, the more likely you are to receive a positive decision and the more likely you are to be considered for the visit and to be invited to Germany.

In addition, proof of encumbrances relating to the living space and ancillary costs must be provided. In addition to the rental agreement or certificate of ownership (if you own an apartment or house), this includes the most recent property tax assessment and proof of loans and ancillary costs such as electricity, water or gas. You should also be able to provide proof of the visitor's details such as date of birth, place of birth, full address and possibly passport number.

Furthermore, according to Handbook Germany, you will need a completed declaration of commitment form for each person for whom you are submitting a declaration of commitment. With the exception of married couples or parents of underage children, one form is sufficient. 

In addition to these documents, you will need a completed form, instructions on the storage and use of the application data in the VIS and a document Supplementary Declaration to the Declaration of Commitment. This does not have to be signed. .

In this picture, a figure of a man is sitting on euro coins and reading a book.

Amount of income, costs and duration of processing

The amount of income that the inviting party must show depends heavily on how many people are invited. According to Handbook Germany, if the visitor is an adult, a net monthly income of 1265 euros must be calculated.

For each additional person, the net monthly income increases by 333 euros. Alternatively, you need a savings balance of 15,000 euros per adult and the required savings balance increases by 4,000 euros for each additional adult. If you invite an adult and a child, the monthly income must be 1502 euros net and 237 euros net income is added for each additional child.

The cost of the letter of guarantee for visitors is 29 euros, irrespective of Foreigners' office , plus 10 euros for a copy in the event of loss. The following generally applies to the duration: The letter of guarantee is valid for 6 months as proof of financing. Accordingly, there should never be more than 6 months between the submission of the letter of guarantee and the issuing of the visa.

It is important to keep the 6 months in mind because the processing time and the waiting time for the appointment can be up to 4 weeks depending on the authority. If you exceed the 6 months, the declaration is no longer valid and must be resubmitted. Once the visa has been issued, the declaration is valid for exactly 5 years. You can then no longer withdraw from the declaration of sponsorship for visitors for legal reasons.

Extension of the declaration of commitment

A declaration of commitment expires after 5 years. If it expires, an extension is not possible. A new formal obligation must therefore be submitted in good time in advance. This is then valid from the expiration date of the old declaration of commitment.

Dangers and risks

The declaration of commitment cannot only have positive aspects. There can be dangers and risks for you as the inviting party, and unfortunately sometimes the person making the commitment is not always aware of this.

You are liable as the inviting party

You must be aware that you are financially liable for the entire period of your visitor's stay. This means that in addition to your own living expenses, you must also pay for the visitor's living expenses. You cannot apply for financial support from the state in this case. In this case, it was your decision to sign the declaration of commitment.

It is particularly important to bear in mind the issue of applying for asylum after entering the country, the possible loss of health insurance and deportation costs. These can be very expensive if the worst comes to the worst. Because of the costs, it is always important to think carefully beforehand about the risk you are taking with a formal obligation for visitors.

Summary

As you can see from the article, there are various things to look out for in the declaration of commitment. The most important points are summarized for you in detail here:

  1. With a declaration of commitment, you as the inviting party are liable for all the costs of your visit
  2. You cannot submit a declaration of commitment with various residence permits
  3. If you receive benefits according to AsylbLG, SGB II or SGB XII, the declaration of commitment will not be accepted
  4. If you are on probation, you will also not be able to submit a declaration of commitment.
  5. The declaration of commitment for visitors is valid for a period of 5 years
  6. No more than 6 months may elapse between submission of the declaration of commitment and issue of the visa
  7. You can no longer legally withdraw from a declaration of commitment
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FAQ - The most important questions and answers about the declaration of commitment

No. You cannot submit a declaration of commitment with an Tolerance permit or a short-term residence permit, a visa for visitors or a residence permit.

No. A declaration of commitment according to § 68 AufenthG cannot be submitted if you receive benefits according to AsylbLG, SGB II or SGB XII. 

No. A declaration of commitment cannot be submitted if you are still in the probationary period for a new job. There is always a risk that you will be dismissed and will no longer be able to pay for the visit.

The declaration of commitment is valid for 5 years. This means that you are bound by your declaration for 5 years and must pay for your visit in full.

How high your income needs to be depends on how many visitors you invite. The more visitors you invite, the higher your income must be. For an adult visitor you need a monthly net income of 1265 euros and for a visitor with a child you should have a net income of 1502 euros. 

The declaration of commitment costs a standardized 29 euros for each Foreigners' office . 

No. There is no legal provision for you to revoke a declaration of commitment. You have the risk over the 5 years of the declaration of commitment and should take this into account.

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