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How to get a Formal Obligation (Verpflichtungserkärung) for Schengen Visa Application


As I mentioned in a previous post about the requirements and procedures for applying for a Schengen Visa, we opted to get a formal obligation for my parents’ visit this coming July. This document is only needed if the visitor’s travel will be sponsored or paid for by a host in Germany. Applicable for the purpose of business, visiting family/friends and participation in a Language course. Remember this is just an option but you may have to provide other and sometimes more documents in absence of this formal obligation.

WHAT IS A FORMAL OBLIGATION (VERPLICHTUNGSERKLÄRUNG)?

What is formal obligation or Verpflichtungserklärung and how to get it. | www.foxyfolksy.com

In our case, since we will be sponsoring my parents’ travel, we opted to get a formal obligation rather than just sending my parents an informal invitation.  A formal obligation seems more, well, formal and binding as it involves going to the aliens authority (Ausländerbehorde) to get one. And because we want to make sure or at least increase our chances of getting a visa for them, this option seems more viable. Additionally, this means that my parents do not have to submit their bank statement of accounts for the last 6 months to the embassy but I asked them anyway to get one as well. More is better in this case.

By signing a formal obligation, the hosts agree to the following responsibilities:

  • to pay all costs of subsistence for the visitor
  • to refund any public resources, if the visitor should need social assistance (including accommodation, medical care, nursing care)
  • to pay any costs for removal procedures (if the visitor should have to be sent back to the country of origin by German authorities)

Hosts have to live in Germany. Non-EU nationals need to be holders of a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit exceeding the validity of the formal obligation. A formal obligation may also be signed by a company residing in Germany.

The obligation includes all the costs which are needed to ensure the visitor´s maintenance and accommodation during the stay, such as expenses for food, clothing, accommodation (private or hotel) as well as costs for seeing a doctor, medicine, nursing homes or other medical treatments that are necessary. For this reason, it is recommended to take out a health insurance policy. In the case of sickness, the inviting party also has to pay the costs which are not covered by the insurance company or which exceed the insured amount. The inviting party also has to bear the costs in case of enforced removal. Such removal costs are for instance travel expenses (flight ticket and/or other transportation costs), possibly the costs for escort as well as costs for detention.

Note that the formal obligation should not be older than six months when the visa application is submitted (interview). The original document should be sent by the sponsor/host to the visitor as part of the Schengen Visa requirements.

REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING FOR FORMAL OBLIGATION (VERPFLICHTUNGSERKLÄRUNG):

The host or inviting party should go or call the Ausländerbehorde responsible for their area of residence in Germany and make an appointment.

On the date of appointment, the host should bring the following.

  1. Passport or Identity Card of the host
  2. Salary statement for the last three months of the host. If not applicable, other proof of income (rental contracts, current statement of income, savings account, etc.) may be presented to show that the host is able to sufficiently support the visitors during their planned stay. To be sure, ask your Ausländerbehorde about which documents will suffice. Note also that there is a minimum required amount (income) that a host/sponsor should meet in order to be approved and it is different from municipality to another. In our case, it was a minimum of 1,200€ monthly net income to host both my parents.
  3. Personal details of the visitors:
    • Full Name (including middle name)
    • Date and place of birth
    •  Nationality
    • Residence address
    • Passport number or copy
  4. €25. This the issuance fee you have to pay per formal obligation. The formal obligation we got applies already for both my parents.
  5. Additionally, our Ausländerbehorde also required us to bring our Mietvertrag  (tenancy agreement/apartment rental contract). This is for them to check that we have enough space to accommodate them during their stay.  This was not included in the list of requirements when I did my research online. But the Ausländerbehorde in your area has the prerogative to ask for other supporting documents like this one.

The whole process of applying took us about less than an hour. Then we had to go to the  Payments counter to pay the fee. After paying we went back to the Ausländerbehorde to present the receipt and we were able to take the Formal Obligation with us on the same day.

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. Hi Miss Bebs,
    I am idah from Indonesia.
    Thank you for sharing ,I am on processing visa visit my boyfriend in Switzerland,they also asking additional document for Verpflichtungserkärung.
    i had the interview on last Monday 20th of May ,and yesterday my bf got email from the embassy to send theVerpflichtungserkärung, so he did it for the Verpflichtungserkärung immediately and now sending to swiss embassy in Jakarta which will take about one week to deliver.

    My intend depart to swiss is actually on 1th June 2019,I know it’s very very tight,it was my agency mistake with helping for interview appointment we get chance for interview so close time even we submitted early in March ,theh say fill schedule.

    My question is ,do the embassy can approve the visa not as same the date on itenery ?I meant we still can change the flight date if visa got approve.

    and my other question is what to do with my insurance, which is already written 1th June to 29th August, should we change the date on insurance as well ?and what if we didn’t, is this will effect ?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Idah, I am sorry that I cannot help you with this. It is better to ask your Swiss embassy directly. As for the insurance, it has to cover the period of travel from departure and then until you are back to your country, so if you have to change flights but is still within the dates of coverage then no need but if it is not within then yes you have to ask them to move the coverage dates.

  2. Hello bebs, nice to read your blogs here. I have an interview next week at the embassy but unfortunately the dates on the obligation letter does not match with the invitation letter. Secondly can my host send me a scanned invitation letter on email?
    Kindly advice.
    Mercy

    1. Hi Mercy, if you have a letter of obligation from your sponsor, then no need for an invitation letter. If the obligation letter states the correct date of your visit then there is no problem.

  3. Dear Sir/Madam,

    From which place/Department , I can able to get FORMAL OBLIGATION (VERPFLICHTUNGSERKLÄRUNG) and how many days take to get this letter? thank you

    1. Hi Muhammad, as already mentioned in the article, the sponsor get this from the aliens’ authority (Ausländerbehorde) from his town or city. As to how many days, it varies, but they can answer that more accurately

  4. Hi,
    Your blog is really precise and useful, thanks. I have just one query, which you may please confirm: whether the guest can submit the copy of scanned formal obligation letter or the original must be submitted. Because in that case the original has to be sent by courier for time constrain.

    1. Hi Basab, yes, as mentioned above the original should be sent by the host to the visitor. This document is valid for 6 months so it is better to send it early enough.

  5. Hi Bebs,
    I got a formal obligation to arrive next month in April but I can’t get an appointment date for the visa till May 22. Does it matter or do we have to change it and change the date on the form?

    1. Based on the German Embassy site in the Philippines, the formal obligation is valid for 6 months, so if your visa appointment is within 6 months after the document was issued then it is still ok.

    1. No, just one for both of them. Then the first to be interviewed will submit the original to the embassy and you can make a copy for the last just in case they look for it, but normally they take a note already.

  6. Hello,
    I used a formal obligation last time I applied though I was denied based on my finances. I want to apply again but I’m not certain if I’m meant to attach a copy of my host’s German passport data page or the formal obligation is all encompassing?
    Ipheoma

    1. Hi, I am not sure how you got denied based on your finances when you have a formal obligation as it should be your host’s finances they checked (and passed if he or she got the document) because your host is the one who will cover all your travel and whatever expenses that may arise while you are visiting. Are you sure this is the reason you got denied? You can ask them so you can fix it next time you apply.
      About your question, if the embassy is not asking for it then no need to attach it. But have it anyway just in case. They would ask you to submit additional documents if needed.

  7. Hi Bebs,

    First of all thank you for this blog! I got the formal obligation (one copy for both of them) for my parents in the Philippines. My question is, since only one copy was issued do I need to have the other copy notarized? Or a photocopy will suffice? I’m confused because in the checklist it needs the original and I only have one original.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Chris, no need. Just use the original for the parent who will be interviewed first and a photocopy for the second. Just note or tell them that the original was already submitted during the first interview. They usually file them together anyway.

      1. Thanks for your reply. For the old/expired passport, did you submit the original together with the photocopy or just the photocopy. Thanks a lot.

  8. Hi! I am in a process of Familienzusammenführung, I am still gathering the informations for the process etc , someone told me to get Verpflichtungserklärung as well, I wanted to really know about the Mietvertrag, because right now I live in the house under my employer it is 3 Zimmer, the vertrag is not under my name but under my employer, but I am paying it monthly. my employer only gave me a Meldebescheinigung that I am currently living there, and that I am renting .Do you have any idea if the Ausländer behörde accept the Mietvertrag even it is under my employer? Thanks

    1. Hi Mary Ann, I would suggest contacting your Ausländerbehörde directly because only they can give you the correct answer. The answer can differ from one office to the other. Present them all the documents you have and explain everything to them.

  9. Hello bebs!
    Please how did you get the document to your parents for the visa interview? Did you scan it to them or by post to them?

  10. Hi Beb, I’m planning to apply a schengen visa in german embassy. To visit my friend with my boyfriend.And my boyfriend from italy will be the one who will sponsor me. So, my friend from Germany will send me an invitation and at the same time my boyfriend from italy will send the formal obligation letter. Do you think it’s pissible for me to get the visa? Thank you .

    1. Hi Vangie, as far as I know the host or sponsor has to be a legal resident in Germany if you are to apply for schengen visa through German Embassy. The formal obligation has to be applied for by the sponsor from the Aliens Registration Authority in Germany.
      The option I see is that you apply for schengen visa thru Italian embassy since your sponsor will be from Italy. If you want to apply thru the German embassy then it has to be your friend who lives in Germany that should sponsor you. If your friend is unable to sponsor you then he or she can send an informal invitation but you should be able to show the embassy that you are able to support your stay financially by yourself by providing documents like bank statements of accounts.

      1. hey Bebs, thank you for your reply. the thing is me and my bf will stay in germany.
        just what to ask where to get the formal obligation form with english translation. the one i got is written in english. thank you.

        1. Like I said the sponsor has to be a legal resident of Germany if you will apply at the German embassy. As I already mentioned in the article, the sponsor will have to go to the Ausländerbehorde (Aliens Registration office) in his/her town where he/she lives in Germany to apply for the formal obligation and if your sponsor meets all the requirements, the office will issue the formal obligation. No need for an English translation because it will be submitted to the German Emabssy and they require the original. Since your boyfriend lives in Italy he cannot apply for a formal obligation in Germany. Like I said, you should apply for your visa thru Italian embassy since your sponsor if from there. Once you have your schengen visa then you can go to any country that is a member of schengen, Germany included.

  11. I applied for german student visa in Nigeria and I got my approval mail two weeks after my interview but i couldnt send my passport immediately because my sponsor have not given sponsorship letter. aftera while i got a mail from embasssy requesting for financial proof which i later summitted when it was ready withinn the time limit the embassy gave me to summit it. But since then I have not had from embassy and my enrollment deadline have crossed and my school refused to give an extension. I have tried to contact the embassy they initially told me that the are processing my application later the only refer me to send mails which I have but no reply. I also contacted the city foreign office in germany the told me that the approved my application that i sould contact my local embasssy.
    what should I do?
    is there any tendency of getting visa so that I will apply for summer semester once i enter germany?

    1. I am sorry Wills but I cannot help you with this question as I am not an expert. I was only sharing how we got a Family Visit Visa for my parents in the Philippines to Germany and yours is totally a different case. I am afraid you can only ask the embassy in your country about it.

  12. hi ms bebs,,i just finish my online application for schengen visa going to germany.my boyfriend send me the formal obligation.do i need to have invitation letter from him? or is it enough to show the formal obligation to the embassy? thank you hope to get your reply.

  13. Hi, sorry that I keep asking questions .
    The same person in Germany is inviting and sponsoring me. my friend sent me the Formal obligation letter (verpflichtungserkärung) only, but is it enough document from her to apply for a visitor visa? if yes then thats fine, if not then what can I do what type of visa I should apply to, visitor or tourist, and should I mention that I will be staying with the host or what do you suggest.
    please I need an answer.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Mi, first of all, I would like to say that this is our personal experience in applying for a visitor’s visa in Manila embassy, other countries might have different requirements. In our case, the formal obligation was the only document we send my parents so they could apply for the visa. But I asked them to bring for the interview additional proof of our relationship, like a copy of my birth certificate and some photos of our wedding or anything to show that we are indeed related to each other, does not hurt to be ready, but they didn’t use it at all, they only asked for the formal obligation.
      When we filled out the online appointment and visa application form, we were already asked to indicate what kind of visa and who will be shouldering the cost of the visit. It is very important to apply for the right or appropriate visa and give the correct information from the beginning. Here are the links to the appointment system: https://service2.diplo.de/rktermin/extern/choose_realmList.do?request_locale=en&locationCode=mani and visa application form https://videx.diplo.de/videx/desktop/index.html#start . I suggest you get a look first and see what info you need to complete.

  14. Hi Bebs,
    Thanks for the article,
    I have received the formal obligation letter from my friend in Germany but it doesnot has my passport number on it because at the time they got me the VERPFLICHTUNGSERKÄRUNG my passport was not issued so I gave them my visa (seperate paper not on passport). what can I do, would that affect my visa application, is it compulsory to have the passport number on the formal obligation letter.
    And what other documents required from the inviting and sponsor person?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Mi, I do not quite get it. What visa did you give them? In our case, the passport number was required but if your friend was able to get you the Formal Obligation without it then it should be fine, just explain it as it is if asked in the interview. Note that you should have the original document and not just a copy and it should not be older than 6 months at the date of your interview.
      I have a separate post for the requirements for Visa Application, here–> https://www.foxyfolksy.com/schengen-visa-application/

      1. It is a humanitarian visa it comes as an A4 document not attached on passport it has your photo and details. thanks for thr quick reply very helpful website.

  15. Hello bebs, please with formal obligation letter how long will it take for a visa to be ready. I mean how many weeks? I am a student from Ghana and has admission in Germany.

    1. Hi Jonah, I think your sponsor needs to be in Germany because he or she will be responsible for you throughout your visit and not only financially but also answerable to the authority if, for example, you overextend your stay or things like that, which what the formal obligation is for.

  16. I please Want to know bebs that does one need a specific amount before he can invite some one who wants to sturdy his masters, if yes what are the processess.thank you

  17. Hi Ms Bebs,
    Please how long does it take to get a formal obligation (Verpflichtungserklärung) for Masters degree study in Germany?….Could it in anycase take up to a week or 2?

    1. As I mentioned previously (in a comment), we got the formal obligation for my parent’s visit on the same day we went to Ausländerbehörde to apply. Ask the issuing Ausländerbehörde directly as in may differ from one place to the other.

      1. Thanks a million Ms Bebs.

        The issue is, i am Nigerian and currently in Nigeria, it is not possible for me to ask the Ausländerbehörde directly my self which is why i asked you to shed more light on it for me. Reason being that my sponsor is a Nigerian who currently lives and hold a permanent resident permit in Germany told me that he already submitted the required documents but the verifications of those documents and other records about him is going to take 2 weeks or there about. So i got kind of confused when you stated that you yours the same you applied for your parents. Do you a different perspective to all u have said? Should i be worried?
        Thank you Ms Bebs

        1. Hmmm…2 weeks seems a bit long, but like what I said, it differs from one office to the other. Maybe your sponsor’s Ausländerbehörde is more strict than ours since we submitted the requirements and got the formal obligation in less than an hour, we did not wait for her to verify it since the documents are all certified and we live in a small town so it is easier for her to do it later (if needed at all). Perhaps my husband, being a German citizen also is a factor (who knows). But if all the documents check out and your sponsor qualifies then you should have nothing to worry about, just be patient.

        2. Hi miss want to ask if how i get the original formal obligation from my sponsor from Germany to manila, is it possible to get original formal obligation letter if my sponsor send it via email online or he really need to sent it via 2GO carrier or?

          1. Hi MJ, you need to submit the original to the embassy so your sponsor has to send it by mail or courier. We sent ours via post (DeutschePost-PhilPost) it is cheaper and only took about 2 weeks, more than enough time before my parent’s scheduled visa appointment.

  18. Hi Bebs..
    I had my visa interviews today for long stay visa( Marriage Visa). I got a formal obligation letter from my fiancee in germany..though the formal obligation letter was marked with “Nacht nach geweisen” however i am not sure yet whether i will be denied a visa or not because i had my interviews today at the germany embassy kampala and gave in all required documents without missing any. We have completed 1 year doing paperwork. And finally i had my appointment today. What are the possibilities of my visa being given to me?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Kicker, I cannot give you a guarantee as I am not in any way connected to the German Embassy, but I can only say that based on my experience, Marriage/Fiance Visas are usually approved as long as all of the requirements are complied with.

  19. Greetings from Kenya Bebs,
    Im just enquiring, in my case, I’m applying for German visa, my host had send me an invitation letter and her bank statements, I have also provided my bank statements, my question is, is it a must I also take an obligation letter? Thanks
    Evelyn

    1. Hi Evelyn, I am not sure about the requirements of German Embassy in Kenya. In the Philippines, a formal obligation may be provided instead of a bank statement for the previous 6 months with bank confirmation. I would suggest asking the German Embassy directly to be sure in your case.

  20. Hi Miss Bebs, your Posts are very helpful!! Thank you so muchiiee! I want to invite my youngest brother in Manila using the Formal Obligation from Ausländerbehörde. I was able to book him visa appointment today using the links you included above, he must wait a month though but we are both thankful that we dont have to call the call center anymore. Manny many Thanks! Kind regards and please keep it up! 🙂 – ALLYSA

    1. I am glad the article was able to help Allysa. Yes, it was quite convenient being able to fill out the form and set the appointment online. Enjoy your time with your brother in Germany!

  21. Thanks for the article. My situation is I want to bring my parents and in-laws together but they agreed to give this document only for my parents as my salary was not sufficient. They told me the option of asking one of my friends to sponsor them. Now if my friend sponsors my in-laws, will they be able to stay with us?

    1. Hi Indranil, well usually the Ausländerbehorde would also check if your accommodation can fit all the people you are planning to invite. They only ask for a tenancy contract for this usually. So if you and your friend are approved and given the document then I do not see why they cannot stay with you afterward.

  22. Hi Ms Bebs,
    Please how long does it take to get a formal obligation (Verpflichtungserklärung) for Bachelor’s degree study in Germany?

    1. Hi Martin, we got the formal obligation for my parents’ visit the same day we went there and applied for it. As long as you have the requirements they need then they can print it the same day, usually. Of course, it can be different depending on the personnel or the office but I do not see a problem to delay it since it is only a form that they fill out and print. To get a direct answer I suggest asking the nearest Ausländerbehörde where your sponsor will apply for it.

  23. Gud am…..nice post….pls one of my uncle tried getting me such letter but he was told he could not due to the numbers of kids he has…….i wanted to know if himself and my other uncle can combine to get it for me?

    1. Hi Noble, I am not sure if this is possible. I think you can only get one sponsor unless they are a couple (husband and wife) and their combined income and accommodations are enough to cover your expenses and incidentals during your stay. To be sure, ask your uncle to call the Ausländerbehörde to ask for what other options that are acceptable to them.

  24. Hello bebs,

    Thanks for this post. i´d like to know if a student can invite his parents to germany with a verpflictung.
    if not, what are the process ?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ola, I am not sure as I was only sharing our own experience. Although to be clear, a Formal Obligation is to show that the sponsor (you) will be able to cover the expenses and all the incidentals of the sponsored parties (your parents) while they are staying in Germany. Being a student, I am not sure if the Ausländerbehörde will accept that since they will ask for your income statements and living arrangements as mentioned above. If your parents can finance their visit, then I would say the best option is they apply for a tourist visa instead.

  25. Hello Ms. Bebs! I would like to ask if your parents showed the bank statement or not ? My situation is the same as your parents – sponsored visa. I hope for your response. Thank you!

    1. This is about the requirements for Schengen Visa, right? Just to be clear that you are not asking about the Formal Obligation. To be sure, I asked them to submit a copy of their bank statements as well. It is better to be prepared than to come back to the German embassy again for additional supporting documents. If your parents also have some properties, like land titles, etc (we even also included my dad’s car) ask them to bring the original and make copies.

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