Depending on who you ask it has various English names, from Affidavit of Support, Formal Obligation, Declaration of Support, etc.
If someone in Germany invites you to visit them or to come and study, then you require the Verpflichtungserklärung, the affidavit/declaration of support.
Sometimes you find people (friends, relatives) who ask you to send them the Verpflichtungserklärung only for them to come here and go under. Before you go getting a Verpflichtungserklärung for someone you don’t trust, first understand what it is. According to the Aufenthaltsgesetz (Residence Act) §67 and §68
Law governing the Verpflichtungserklärung
Section § 67 Scope of liability for costs
(1) The costs relating to deportation, removal, refused entry and the enforcement of a geographic restriction cover
1. transport costs and other travel costs for the foreigner within the Federal territory and up to the destination outside of the Federal territory,
2. the administrative costs arising in connection with preparation and enforcement of the measure, including the costs of custody awaiting deportation, translation and interpreting costs and the expenditure on accommodation, food and other provisions for the foreigner and
3. all costs arising from necessary official escorts for the foreigner, including personnel costs.
(2) The costs for which the transport contractor shall be liable pursuant to Section 66 (3), sentence 1 cover
1. the costs specified in sub-section 1, no. 1,
2. the administrative costs and expenditure on accommodation, food and other provisions for the foreigner and translation and interpreting costs which arise up to the time of enforcement of the decision on admission and
3. the costs specified in sub-section 1, no. 3, unless the transport contractor himself provides the necessary escort for the foreigner.
(3) The costs specified in sub-sections 1 and 2 shall be charged by the competent authority pursuant to Section 71 by means of a payment order to the amount of the actually incurred costs. The general principles for the calculation of public-sector personnel costs shall apply with regard to calculation of the personnel costs.
Section 68 Liability for living expenses
(1) Anyone who has provided the foreigners authority or a diplomatic mission abroad with a declaration of commitment to bear a foreigner’s living expenses shall be required to reimburse all public funds which are expended to cover the foreigner’s living expenses, including the provision of living space, medical care in case of illness and any required nursing care, and including any such expenditure which is based on a legal entitlement of the foreigner. Expenses which are based on the payment of contributions shall not require reimbursement.
(2) The declaration of commitment pursuant to sub-section 1, sentence 1 must be furnished in writing. It shall be enforceable in accordance with the Administrative Enforcement Act. The public body which has expended the public funds shall be entitled to the reimbursement.
(3) The diplomatic mission abroad shall notify the foreigners authority forthwith of a declaration of commitment pursuant to sub-section 1, sentence 1.
(4) On obtaining knowledge of the expenditure of public funds which are to be reimbursed pursuant to sub-section 1, the foreigners authority shall notify forthwith the public body which is entitled to the reimbursement as to the declaration of commitment pursuant to sub-section 1, sentence 1, and shall furnish said body with all the information which is necessary for the purposes of asserting and enforcing the reimbursement claim. The recipient may only use the data for the purposes of reimbursement of the public funds expended for the foreigner and the refusal of further payments.
Who can get a Verpflichtungserklärung?
Any individual (German or not, yes Foreigners in Germany can also get one) living in Germany can request for a Verpflichtungserklärung
Depending on the city you live in it ranges from €25
Where do you get it?
In most towns you get it from the Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Offices) while some towns it may also be issued by the Bürgerbüro. You have to get it from the town you’re registered in.
For individuals applying for their guest.
- your own passport or ID card (if you have a German or EU one)
- a current statement of earnings from you e.g. salary slip, for self-employed tax bill, certificate of a tax consultant or similar. ( Individuals with low/no income do not get a Verpflichtungserklärung)
- For the self-employed you have to bring along a Bescheinigung from your Steuerberater
- Stating your profession
- Expected begin of the visa validity
- Information on the visitor and or people/children accompanying the visitor:
- Place of birth
- Passport number
- Address of the visitor during their visit
- Your relationship to the visitor(s)
In special cases they might require:
- To check your SCHUFA
- A copy of your work contract for the employed