I am applying for a Schengen visa from the United States with Germany entry. My relative is a student in Germany and is not a German either.

I was wondering if I should tell him to write an invitation letter or should I do a formal obligation letter? Also, I do not know how to write a formal obligation. Is it something I can get at the consulate or should I do it prior to the interview?

Here are the requirements:

  • Recent, informal signed invitation letter, passport copy and photocopy of residence permit if applicable from the host in Germany OR a formal obligation letter (Verpflichtungserklärung), notarized by an alien's authority in Germany and one copy.
  • As your relative is a student, do they have the resources to commit to a formal obligation agreement, and can they demonstrate those resources? Its pointless submitting one if the immigration official considers it worthless...
    – user29788
    Feb 26, 2018 at 23:38
  • I don't think he can when he is not a citizen there I just don't understand so whoever does not have a german relative what would they do?
    – Nickool
    Feb 26, 2018 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


In Germany this formal obligation is called a Verpflichtungserklärung and it is a promise to reimburse the state for any cost if you should overstay. It must be filed with the municipal authorities, and they will check if your relative has the means to pay for you. They might also require a deposit if that ability to pay is in question, but the liability would not be limited to that deposit.

Such an obligation may be filed by a person or company. Citizenship is not the issue, it depends on the ability to pay. Generally the person giving the Verpflichtungserklärung has to be able to pay a minimum livelihood for himself, his other dependents, and the recipients of the obligation. The exact amount varies from place to place to account for costs of living.

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