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

Fabian Graske
Fabian Graske

Table of contents

Meaning declaration of commitment for visitors

The declaration of commitment for visitors is an essential part of the process of inviting a immigrant foreigner to Germany. For the German state, the declaration of commitment is a safeguard in case costs arise for the period of the visitor’s stay.

What is a letter of commitment for visitors?

The declaration of commitment according to § 68 AufenthG is a document that is required for the invitation of a foreigner. The declaration of commitment is a kind of reinsurance for the state in case of damage or costs caused by the visitor. In this case, these costs and damages are to be paid by the signatory of the declaration of commitment, if they cannot be paid by the visitor himself.

Often legal things are misinterpreted in the declaration of commitment for visitors. For example, the signer of the Letter of Commitment cannot exercise rights over visitors and impose rules on visitors to minimize harm or urge visitors to leave.

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

The declaration of commitment is suitable for the case that a person from abroad wants to apply for a visa for Germany and is not able to provide financially for the period of stay. In this case, the visitor has the possibility to ask 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 within the framework of family reunification.

For this purpose, there is a declaration of commitment for visitors, which is then signed by the respective third person. The aim is to ensure that the German state is covered in the event that damage or costs are incurred and that the state itself is not left sitting on the costs because the visitor is not in a position to pay financially for these costs or damages.

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With these conditions the  invitation does NOT work!

As with all government documents, there are important basics to understand about the Declaration of Commitment for Visitors. They show the clear conditions that must be observed in such a written statement 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 it in order not to make a declaration for nothing. 

Benefits according to AsylbLG, SGB II or SGB XII

With benefits according to AsylbLG (Asylum Seekers Benefits Act), SGB II or SGB XII you cannot submit a declaration of commitment. The foreigners authorities do not accept a declaration of commitment in such cases. 

Work in probationary period

If you are still on probation and have not yet completed the 6 month probationary period, submitting a letter of commitment will not work either. The foreigner’s registration office (Ausländerbehörde) requires security for the period so that you can pay for your visitor’s expenses. With a probationary period, it is always possible to be terminated and no longer have the ability to vouch for potential costs. 

Residence titles with which the  invitation does not work

The declaration of commitment can also not be submitted if the person signing the declaration of commitment has only a residence permit, tolerance permit (Duldung) , visa for visitor purposes or short-term residence permit. Even in this case, there is no certainty that the person will be able to pay for the period. With these residence permits, it is always possible to be deported, and this uncertainty makes it unfeasible for a visitor to become a guarantor. 

With these conditions the visit works

With most of the requirements, you can submit a letter of commitment. It is important that one is not in possession of the above-mentioned residence titles and has a legal residence in Germany.

Emergence for the visitor

If you are invited to Germany, it is important that you can provide documents to support yourself and your visit. Whether you have a settlement permit or another lawful residence title does not matter. It must be apparent to the agency that you are able to financially pay for the visitor’s or family member’s expenses.

Provided, of course, that the visit itself is not able to pay for the costs. If the visitor can clearly prove that he/she can financially pay for the costs him/herself, then a declaration of commitment for visitors is not necessary, as the person can take care of him/herself. 

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Content of a declaration of commitment for visitors

A declaration of commitment for visitors is always structured according to the same pattern. In each case, the authority is a comparable document. The only difference is the authority itself to which the document is delivered. The structure of the form is the same in each case.

Information of the author of the declaration of commitment

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

Personal data of the visitor

The core component of the declaration of commitment for visitors is the personal information of the visitor. Here is written the name and the first name and date of birth of the visitor. In addition, the nationality of the visitor is also recorded here, as well as the marital status.

Reason and duration of the visit

Another important point is the information about the reason for the visit and the duration. It is recorded here whether the visitor is coming on a visitor’s visa or on a family reunification visa. In addition, it is precisely stated how long the duration of stay in the Federal Republic of Germany is valid and when the visitor must leave again.

The holding of the guarantee

Finally, the financial obligation to pay for the entire costs of the visitor is stipulated in the declaration of commitment. Furthermore, the liability for any damage caused by the visitor is also stated here. Both points are signed in each case in the declaration of commitment.

Application and issuance of the declaration

In the case of the declaration of commitment for visitors, there is a precise form of application that must be followed exactly. The key is to stick to this form and the default. Only in this way can the declaration of commitment be submitted successfully and only in this way will the invitation to Germany work in the end.

Which authority is responsible

According to the Federal Foreign Office, the respective foreigner’s registration office (Ausländerbehörde) in the applicant’s place of residence is responsible for processing the declaration of commitment for visitors. The Federal Ministry for Migration and Refugees offers a navigator. With this navigator, you can enter your zip code, city, and address and get the closest government office.

What documents are needed

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

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

Evidence of savings balances is also helpful. In general, the more evidence provided, the more likely you are to receive a positive decision and the more likely you are to be considered for the visit as a citizen and the invitation to Germany will work out.

In addition, evidence of encumbrances, as far as the living space and ancillary costs are concerned, must be provided. In addition to the rental agreement or certificate of ownership (if you are the owner of an apartment or house), this includes the last property tax assessment and proof of loans and ancillary costs such as electricity, water or gas. You should also be able to prove 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 document for each person for whom you are submitting a Declaration of Commitment. Exception for married couples or parents of minor children, one form is sufficient.

In addition to these documents, you need a completely filled out form, instruction on the storage and use of the application data in the VIS and a document Supplementary Declaration of Commitment. This does not need to be signed. .

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Income level, costs and duration of processing

The particular income level that the inviter must show depends heavily on how many people are invited. If the visitor is a person of full age, a net monthly income of 1265 euros must be calculated in each case, according to Handbook Germany.

For each additional person, the net monthly income increases by 333 euros. Alternatively, one needs a savings balance of 15000 euros per adult person and for each additional adult person the required savings balance increases by 4000 euros. If you invite an adult person and a child, then the monthly income must be 1502 euros net and per additional child 237 euros net income is added.

The cost of the declaration of commitment for visitors, regardless of the foreigner’s registration office (Ausländerbehörde), is 29 euros and 10 euros for a copy, in case of loss. With regard to the duration, the following generally applies: The declaration of commitment is valid for 6 months as proof of financing. Accordingly, there should never be more than 6 months between the submission of the declaration of commitment and the issuance of the visa.

It is important to have the 6 months in mind because the processing time and waiting time to get to the appointment can go up to 4 weeks depending on the agency. If you exceed the 6 months, then the declaration is no longer valid and must be resubmitted. If the visa is created, then the declaration is valid for exactly 5 years. You can then no longer withdraw from the declaration of commitment for visitors, even for legal reasons.

Extension of the declaration of commitment

After 5 years, a commitment expires. When it expires, renewal is not possible. A new declaration of commitment 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 can bring not only positive aspects. There may be dangers and risks for you as the inviter and unfortunately sometimes the person committing is not always aware of this.

You are liable as an inviter

You must be aware that you are financially liable for the entire period of your visitor’s stay. Therefore, in addition to your own living expenses, you must also pay for the living expenses of the visitor. You cannot apply for financial assistance from the state for this case. It was your decision in this case to sign the letter of commitment.

It is especially important to keep in mind the issue of applying for asylum after entry, a possible loss of health insurance, and deportation costs. These can be very expensive if they occur. Because of the costs, it is always important to consider beforehand exactly what risk you are taking with a declaration of commitment for visitors.


As you can see through the article, there are several things to look out for in the commitment letter. Here are the most important points summarized for you in detail:

  1. In the case of a declaration of commitment, you as the inviter are liable for all costs of your visit
  2. You cannot submit a declaration of commitment with various residence titles
  3. If you receive benefits according to AsylbLG, SGB II or SGB XII, the declaration of commitment is not accepted.
  4. If you are in a probationary period, submitting the declaration of commitment will not work either.
  5. The declaration of commitment for visitors is valid for a period of 5 years
  6. The period between the submission of the declaration of commitment and the issuance of the visa cannot exceed 6 months.
  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. With a tolerance permit (Duldung) or a short-term residence permit, a visa for visitors or a Aufenthaltsgestattung you cannot submit a declaration of commitment.

No. A Letter of Commitment cannot be filed if you are still in the probationary period for a new job. There is always a risk that you could be terminated and no longer be able to financially pay for the visit.

The declaration of commitment has a validity period of 5 years. This means you are bound by your declaration for the 5 years and must pay for your visit in full.

How much income you need 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 there should be a net income of 1502 euros.

The declaration of commitment costs a uniform 29 euros at each foreigner’s registration office (Ausländerbehörde).

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

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