I am from Iran and want to visit my friends in Germany, but getting a visa is difficult.

However, I have a German friend who wants to send me a formal invitation letter called verpflichtungserklärung so that I have a better chance of my visa application being accepted. On the other hand, according to the immigration office of her town, as her salary statement is below €1500, she has to lock €5000 in a bank. She can then access this money when I leave the country which, in my case, is 14 days. She is unsure about the complete process of getting the money back. There is another document called Grenzüberschritts Bescheinigung that she is told to fill, but she doesn't know what exactly it is. To sum up my questions and end her worries, I have some questions and would like to receive your answers. Please provide the source of your replies if you have.

1) What is the exact process of getting verpflichtungserklärung, when her income is less than required €1500 ?

2) How does the immigration office understand that I left Germany, so that they will notify the bank to unlock her money?

3) What will happen if she sends me the verpflichtungserklärung, but I cannot get the Visa? How can she unlock her money and inform the immigration office that I haven't even entered Germany.

4) What is Grenzüberschritts Bescheinigung and when is it needed?


  • 1
    Question 4 is the answer to question 2.
    – phoog
    May 31, 2016 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


First, the Verpflichtungserklärung (I'll call it VPE) is not really an invitation.
If you cause unplanned substantial costs for the government etc. (law suit, deportation, medical costs...) that you can't pay on your own, the VPE is a guarantee that your friend will pay for you. While not mandatory in any way, it can be the difference between getting a visa and not. ... 5000€ for two weeks may sound harsh, but the value actually does not depend on the planned duration of the stay.

About the bank part which is necessary because her income is not high enough: She just can go to a bank of her choice, open a bankbook (distinct from her normal accounts) with the money, and tell the bank that withdrawals should only be possible with consent of the Ausländerbehörde.

To make the VPE itself, some forms need to be filled out at the local Ausländerbehörde. Other than an ID and the bankbook, your friend should also bring a proof that she rents or owns something to live in, and has a paid job.

As soon as you arrive, she (or you) tells the Ausländerbehörde that you're here; you'll then get a form called Grenzüberschrittsbescheinigung. When you leave again, show it at the border, then she can access her money again.

If you never come in the first place, the VPE expires after max. 6 months. Then she can get her money back too. Withdrawing a VPE before this time limit is not really possible in theory, but talking to the official in the Ausländerbehörde might help.


  • Thanks for your answer, But where should I show Grenzüberschrittsbescheinigung at the border? Is it in at airport of my departure? also, Is there a faster way to get her money back if I don't get a visa at first place? 6 months is a lot @deviantfan
    – Masan
    Jun 1, 2016 at 5:50
  • @Jamaisavenir You give it to the German border police at the airport passport control. If you don't leave Schengen from a German airport you need to bring that paper in person to a German embassy.
    – neo
    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:48
  • @Jamaisavenir About the 6 months: I'm not aware of a faster way.
    – deviantfan
    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:49
  • 1
    "If you cause unplanned substantial costs for the government etc. (law suit, deportation, medical costs...) that you can't pay on your own, the VPE is a guarantee that your friend will pay for you. " That should be in very very bold letters. Also @Jamaisavenir make sure your friend knows that.
    – DonQuiKong
    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:08
  • 1
    If the friend has deposited 5000€ as the VPE, is that the limit of their liability? Or can the government decide the OP has cost Germany 10.000€ and demand the balance from the friend? (The OP might need to consider getting insurance.) Apr 6, 2018 at 12:06

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