The requirements might be different for each Federal States (Bundesländer) so always make sure you have the latest requirements. An internet search for “Verpflichtungserklärung + the name of the town you live in” should give you the relevant information. Some bigger cities also have the information available in English, search for “Letter of obligation, or Formal Obligation, declaration of commitment, or letter of commitment” and of course the name of the town you live in.
As a host you need to appear in person and supply the following documentation:
- Filled out “Angaben zur Verpflichtungserklärung” Form. This can be filled out at the Behörde and they will print it out for you
- Your valid passport. Or, a national ID card
- Copy of the passport of the persons you are sponsoring, personal details like first and last name, date and place of birth, and their address abroad
- Proof that you are a legal resident in Germany. For example your German residence permit.
- Proof that you have sufficient income or savings. This can be one of the following
- Salary statements for the past 3 months, or
- Contract of your employment, or
- Formal letter of your employer, issued in the past 2 weeks. It must confirm you are still their employee
- Proof of your accommodation This can be any of the following.
- Confirmation of registration.
- Rental contract. It has to be supported by a letter of confirmation by the landlord of the rented place.
* All documents must be presented both in original and in copy.
More information on the web
The Verplichtungserklärung is a formal obligation whereby you commit towards the total cost of the guest’s visit, including accommodation and medical expenses if they do not have medical cover. It also includes any repatriation fees and legal fees.
It is by default valid for 6 months for a Schengen visa and 5 years for a National D Visa, but you can request to make it shorter for just the period of their visit.
Here is the link to the documents required to get a tourist visa for Germany:
Checklist for a Short Term Visa
The requirements for the National Visa will depend on the type of visa you apply for.