Blocked account for international students in Germany

Germany today is one of the most attractive countries for people that foster the wish to study internationally. Altogether, there are more than 400 educational institutions opening their doors for students from all over the world. However, certain requirements need to be fulfilled in order to be eligible to move to and study in Germany. Before you can start your journey to Germany, you have to apply for a visa, for which a blocked account is often a requirement.

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Opening a German blocked account for a student visa or residence permit

Apart from the entry requirements imposed by universities, there are also some governmental prerequisites that need to be paid attention to by students from non-EU countries, specifically when applying for a German (student) visa and taking care of all the related formalities.

One of these requirements is the proof of financial resources that students need to provide to the embassies in order to demonstrate that they are capable of financing themselves during their stay in Germany. One of the most common methods is to open a blocked account with a German bank.

If you would like to learn more about general requirements for moving to Germany or other ways of proving sufficient financial resources to German authorities, feel free to check the following articles:

What is a blocked account?

This is a special type of a German bank account that was created specifically for internationals willing to come to Germany with the purpose of studying, job-searching or participating in the au-pair programme.

The account has to be opened at a German bank while you are still in your home country, preparing your documents for your visa application or, perhaps, when you are already in Germany and would like to obtain a residence permit.

This type of bank account implies that your money will be “blocked” for the duration of your stay in Germany. The amount that needs to be transferred serves as a guarantee that you can uphold an appropriate standard of living abroad and is defined by German authorities. Even though the funds fully belong to you and are held in your name, you do not have access to the whole amount at once and receive a monthly allowance into your regular bank account opened at a German bank of your choice.

As soon as you deposit the required amount, the organisation that you have selected for the account opening will issue a so-called “blocking confirmation”. This is the document that the authorities require you to submit together with your visa or residence permit application. It functions as your financial proof.

What do you need a blocked account for?

You might find yourself in different situations where German authorities request you to provide a blocking confirmation – but whether you are pursuing studies, research or work in Germany, you will find it as a requirement for either your entry visa or a residence permit.

However, please note that the requirements for a blocked account opened for an entry visa and the requirements for a blocked account opened for a residence permit might differ. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of those differences in advance and select a blocked account provider that operates in line with all those regulations.

This would help to avoid unnecessary time and monetary costs upon arrival in Germany, as many students often need to open a second blocked account so that the local foreign office accepts it for a residence permit.

Ketu Majumdar, an international student from India, has shared his experience of coming to Germany and getting a student residence permit. Check out his story to be better informed about the process and the requirements one has to face after arrival.

Blocked account requirements you need to be aware of to increase your chances of getting a visa and residence permit

When opening a blocked account, there are certain points you should pay attention to:

The required blocked amount

In 2020, the amount of € 861.00 must be blocked for every month that you are planning to stay in Germany as a student – this would be €10,332.00 for one year. However, we strongly recommend that you check the required sum at the website of the local embassy or respective authority.

Also, there are certain kinds of visa that require a 10%-increase of the standard monthly blocked amount. This applies to the following types of visa:

  • Visa for the recognition of foreign qualifications
  • Visa for language acquisition and visa for the purpose of applying for a course of study or apprenticeship (§§ 16d, 16f (1), 17 AufenthG – German Residence Act)

If you plan to apply for one of the mentioned visas, please make sure to increase the monthly amount by 10% (to € 948.00 per month).

The requirements for a blocked account provider

Not many students are aware that most of the authorities choose to follow certain administrative regulations or the residence act for the ministry of the interior called “Verwaltungsvorschrift” in German. This document states that a blocked account submitted for a residence permit application should be opened specifically at a German bank and not a financial provider operating without a full banking license. The service provider you choose should have the status of a German bank – this can be checked with the banking regulator BaFin in their database here.

Why it is important to have a German Blocked Account

If you want to know more about this, we have recorded a Q&A video on that topic. Give it a look to be fully informed before your application process.

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What do you need to open a blocked account?

Depending on the service provider and your nationality, you might be requested to provide a different list of documents for an account opening. With Fintiba, you only need a valid passport and an internet connection for your account to be opened in less than 10 minutes.

How to open a blocked account at Fintiba

1. Yay! It’s now certain – you are going to Germany soon

Finally, you got your long-awaited confirmation. Congrats! Now it’s time to start thinking about your visa application.

2. Apply for your blocked account on www.fintiba.com

Fill in a simple form on our website to kick off the opening process. Make sure you apply early enough so that you have time to prepare everything for your visa appointment at the embassy

3. Complete the missing data in your profile and go through identity-check

Enter your personal details in the required fields and have your passport at hand to go through our online verification process. Your account can be opened in less than 10 minutes if you provide the data correctly and in a timely manner.

Your blocked account is opened now

4. Transfer the required funds

Double-check the amount that needs to be transferred and initiate the transfer as instructed in your Fintiba profile. Pay attention to international transfer fees and conversion rates at your bank and consider our transfer provider recommendations for a quick and smooth process. To simplify the procedure, use Fintiba Transfer.

Blocking confirmation is issued

5. Go to your visa appointment

Taking your blocking confirmation with you and present it together with all the other documents to obtain your German visa or residence permit.

6. Arrive in Germany 

Follow further instructions in the Fintiba app and receive monthly pay-outs from your Blocked Account to your current account at a German bank.

Your blocked account opening checklist

Below we have collected popular student opinions about things to consider before opening an account and the specific qualities that have proven to be important during their stay in Germany:

  • Check the requirements for a blocked account at the local embassy or foreign office. While some of them might accept blocked accounts opened at local banks or financial service providers, there is a high chance of strict requirements being in place for it to be open at a German bank.
  • Apply for your blocked account in advance and check for a provider that is not only quick with the opening but also fast throughout the whole process until the payouts are set up. For example, research if a city registration will be required for you to get access to your money.
  • Double-check the security standards guaranteed by a blocked account provider. Make sure that your data and documents are processed via a secure platform such as an app or with additional security measures.
  • Make sure that you open the account in your own name – this helps to ensure that you remain the holder of the funds in the account no matter what.
  • Go for a provider that offers not only online services, but also a mobile application with real-time notifications and constant access to your account.

Useful tips for an easy blocked account opening

Best time to open a blocked account

We recommend that you take care of your blocked account as early as possible and apply for it as soon as you receive your admission to a German university or preparation course/confirmation of your studies in Germany. Keep in mind that international transfers normally take some time and there is always a risk of unexpected complications. You don’t want to be late with the documents for your visa appointment and risk delaying your whole stay by multiple months, do you?

Choose wisely – make international transfers easy

This is a big sum of money you are going to transfer. Many local banks get cautious when you send amounts of that volume abroad, especially to someone else’s account. Make sure you open your blocked in your own name and avoid the hassle. Also, consider transferring your money with a provider specialised in international money transfers. Find out more on our Fintiba Transfer page.

Be informed – carefully go through the guidelines

Learn everything about the process from the beginning and try to fully understand how it works. It is always important to know exactly what is going to happen to your money and how you can get access to it.

Secure yourself – bring extra money

A lot of unexpected situations could happen when moving to a new country and it might take some time until you get access to the money deposited in your blocked account. Make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses until then.

What can you later do with your blocked account?

Depending on your future situation and plans, you might need to apply certain changes to your blocked account. There are options for you to close the account if you decide to leave Germany and return to your home country or, alternatively, extend it, should you decide to prolong your stay in Germany.

How to close, extend and reopen your blocked account

Watch our Q&A video to learn more about how you can close, reopen, adapt or extend your blocked account at Fintiba.

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Your Fintiba Study Guide.
Germany at one glance.

From preparing your stay to mastering your visa application and navigating through daily life in Germany. Our Study Guide within the Fintiba app provides you with relevant information throughout all important stages of your German adventure – tailored to your individual situation.

Last update: January 26, 2021

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