Germany is a prominent study abroad destination for students from all over the world. However, international students need to prove their financial stability with a German blocked account to get a German study visa. A German blocked account is a bank account used by international students to deposit an amount of money and block it till they arrive in Germany.
What is the blocked account in Germany?
A blocked account is a bank account used by international students to deposit money that would cover their cost of living for the first year in a foreign country. It is an important prerequisite for a Germany study visa. It is necessary for international students moving to Germany for language courses, diploma short-term courses, or any professional degrees. The bank account must be opened at a registered German bank via an online application.
Financial proofs are necessary to get visa approval. Non-European students need to apply for a German blocked account after receiving the admission letter from the university. There are various blocked account providers, and students need to compare all of them to choose the right service provider. The money in a blocked account cannot be withdrawn until the student arrives in Germany. It is a compulsory eligibility criterion for international students to prove that they can meet their expenses during their stay. The funds will be held in the name of the student and it completely belongs to them.
Quick Facts about German blocked account
Let us take a look at some quick facts about a German blocked account to get a better understanding. These facts will solve and clarify a certain amount of doubts and understanding.
- The blocked account is financial proof and an official prerequisite for a student visa. German immigration services do not allow students without financial stability to study in Germany.
- The minimum block account amount for Germany is 10,332 Euros (INR 8,85,474). There is no maximum or upper limit.
- The blocked account fund cannot be transferred at once. A portion of the fund is transferred every month so that the students cannot spend all of it at once.
- Germany needs a blocked account only in the first year. However, if a student fails to provide enough evidence of financial resources for the second year, they’ll need a blocked account even in the second year.
- International students need a court order to deposit and withdraw money from a blocked account.
- International students can apply for a German blocked account from their home country. It is processed online.
- A blocked account does not come with unlimited deposits and withdrawals. There are rules and regulations as to who can withdraw, when the withdrawal can take place, and how much money can be withdrawn.
- Some of the best German blocked account providers are Deutsche Bank, Fintiba, Expatrio, and Coracle. Look for the most affordable option that offers a value package.
- A blocked account is known as ‘Sperrkonto’ in German.
- A blocked account can be opened within 24 hours. It does not take long if you choose the right bank.
- The blocked account is approved and managed by the German Federal Foreign Office.
- If your visa is rejected, the amount that you have deposited in the blocked account will be returned. There will not be any deductions, apart from the fee paid to the account providers.
- An international student can withdraw €861 (INR 73,789) per month. This amount should be used for living costs, traveling, accommodation, food, and utilities.
- After the money is deposited, the funds would be eventually transferred to a local branch near your university in Germany. It can be either to a local branch of Deutsche Bank in Germany or any other bank.
- Once the account is opened, the respective bank will coordinate and send all the necessary details to the respective German Consulate. Without this information, students will not be able to apply for a German student visa.
- Documentation is important. International students cannot apply for a German blocked account without a confirmed admission letter from a college or university.
- International students need to open a student bank account after reaching Germany. It will be used for transferring the funds from the blocked account so that students can use it as they prefer.
What is the latest blocked account amount?
As of 2021, the minimum block account amount for Germany is 10,332 euros (INR 8,85,474). There is no upper limit on blocked account funds but international students need to deposit the minimum amount to prove financial stability and apply for a student visa. International students applying for a blocked account in 2022 need to confirm any change in the amount.
Some popular German blocked account providers
1.Deutsche Bank German Blocked Account:
Deutsche Bank is a popular blocked account provider in Germany. It is one of the biggest German banks. The entire account opening process is a bit complicated and expensive. The initial application fee is €150 (INR 12,855) and the processing time is 4-6 weeks. Post-certification, you need to pay a fee of €40 (INR 3,428).
2.Coracle German Blocked Account:
Coracle blocked account opening is an affordable process. The initial application fee is €99 (INR 8,484), and the process is completely online.
3.Fintiba German Blocked Account:
The Fintiba German blocked account opening process is less expensive and easier. If you open a blocked account with Fintiba, then you will need to pay an initial account opening charge of €89 (INR 7,627) and then a monthly maintenance fee of €4.90 (INR 420). The process is online and it takes only 15 minutes to open an account. This is a good choice for international students. However, students need to pay an extra charge after they arrive in Germany.
4.Expatrio German Blocked Account:
Expatrio offers two packages, a normal blocked account package, and a value package. The normal blocked account just has one blocked account and no current account. However, a value package includes everything that an intentional student generally needs in Germany. It includes health insurance, benefits, and a free student bank account. It is an easy process and one of the cheapest options in Germany.
Blocked account fee
A blocked account in Germany comes with some nominal fees. The fee amount depends on the bank and the nationality of the international student.
For example, if one opens an account through Deutsche Bank, the students will have to pay an application fee of around €150 (INR 12,855). Account holders also have to pay €5.90 (INR 506) every month as account maintenance charges.
There may be some additional charges for the verification of documents. Also, consider the minimal charges that you need to pay for the international transfer of the amount between the bank accounts. International transfers are chargeable.
How to open a German blocked account?
German blocked account processing takes a good amount of time, especially during the admission season. It is recommended to open an account before to avoid any delay. Following are the steps that can help you to open a blocked account in Germany.
- Choose a suitable service provider. Compare all the available blocked account providers based on the time taken for account opening, fees, and other prerequisites.
- Download the account opening form online from the official website of the account provider. Fill the PDF and apply online by submitting all the documents. The documents should be original and scanned.
- Seek proper legalization at the German embassy. This is applicable for those that have chosen Deutsche Bank for a German blocked account.
- Deposit the fund.
- Get the confirmation mail with the details of your blocked account.
Documentation for German blocked account
The documentation varies depending on your nationality and the bank that you choose to get a blocked account from. German blocked accounts have different eligibility and document requirements as per the applicant’s native country.
Here are some of the common documents that you need to keep in the right order for the blocked account opening process:
- Passport size photographs
- Valid passport
- An admission letter from a respective school, college, or university.
- Any national ID proof
- Application form
- Receipt of prepaid fee
As per the regulations, a German blocked account is a must-have official prerequisite for international students. It is proof of the financial stability of international students. The German student visa will be approved only when the international student has blocked the amount required to meet the cost of living in Germany. Students can apply for a German study visa once they have opened a blocked account. For any doubts and queries refer to the FAQs below or consult with the experts of upGrad Abroad.
German blocked account: FAQs
Q1. How can I withdraw money from a blocked account?
Students do not have direct access to the German blocked account. Instead, they need to open a student bank account at any German bank and transfer the amount to that account from the blocked account. The blocked amount will be transferred to the student’s bank account every month. The monthly transfer limit is €861 (INR 73,789). However, a student bank account does not have any withdrawal limit.
Q2. Do we get interest in blocked accounts?
No, a blocked account is not a normal bank account. It is not possible to get any interest for depositing money in the blocked account. However, when international students open a normal German bank account and transfer funds from a blocked account to a normal bank account, they can get interest.
Q3. Can a blocked account receive money?
A blocked account cannot receive money. Once a block account is blocked by a court mandate, no funds can be added until the mandate is released. Until the block is released, the account will not be operational.
Q4. Can I get a loan for a blocked account in Germany?
Secured education loans are available in Germany against blocked accounts. These are usually used by students who are likely to have financial constraints in the second or third years. The loan amount can be twice the amount in the blocked account.
Q5. How can I transfer money to a blocked account in Germany?
There are two ways to transfer money to a blocked account in Germany. One is international bank transfer and the other is via money transfer companies. You need to find the right method that is easy, quick, and has low transfer charges.
Q6. How do I close my blocked German account?
You can close your blocked account with an official document known as ‘Sperrfreigabe’. Provide a blocked account closing confirmation to your blocked account provider. The closure will be processed within 7 working days and you will get the blocked amount credited to your personal account.