Germany Blocked Account for Visa Applicants: A Complete Guide

Have you ever dreamed of studying or working in Germany? Did you know that you require a blocked bank account for that? This is an unexpected surprise for anyone applying for a residence permit and study/work visa in Germany.

 

A document serving as your financial proof (Finanzierungsnachweis) needs to be submitted to the German Consulate or Embassy when you apply for a German student visa, language visa, au pair visa, or job seeker visa. This is typically required to open a Blocked Bank Account.

 

It requires certain guidelines and procedures and is intended to act as a safety net for finances. For a smooth beginning to your German travels, this blog aims to guide you through the intricacies of a German blocked account, including difficulties and how to resolve those difficulties.

What is German Blocked Account?

The German government requires a certain bank account known as a “blocked account” (Sperrkonto) to grant student and work-seeker visas. You have to transfer €11,208 into a bank account with German registration prior to going to Germany. This amount will be frozen, and the reason it’s called a blocked account is that you can only take out €934 every month to cover your daily costs.

 

https://www.meridean.org/blog/germany-blocked-account-for-visa-applicants

 

If you need assistance opening a German blocked account or have related queries, please consult our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas.

 

Talk to our Counsellors

 

Who Needs to Open a Blocked Account Germany?

If you are applying for any of the following German visas and you are not from a European Union or Schengen Member State, you must have a blocked account for Germany:

  • Student visa

  • Job-seeker visa

  • Training or apprenticeship visa

  • Aupair visa

  • Visa for the recognition of foreign qualifications

  • Visa for language acquisition

 

Which Country’s Citizens are Not Required to have Blocked Accounts?

It is not mandatory for citizens of the European Union and the Schengen states—Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland—to have a blocked bank account in order to study or prepare in Germany.

 

What is the Amount Required for a Blocked Account in 2024?

The German Central Foreign Office states that a minimum deposit of €11,208 must be made into a blocked account when requesting a German study visa. It’s possible that you’ll be asked to deposit 10% more than the minimum required by law for the following types of German visas:

 

So, instead of €934/month, you may have to deposit €1,027.4/month, which is €12,328.8 in total.

 

The Necessary Amount Throughout the Years

As per the directives published by the German Federal Foreign Office, this table shows the exact monthly and yearly amounts required for a blocked account over a range of years.










Year

Monthly Amount

Annual Amount

2024

€934

€11,208

2023

€934

€11,208

2022

€861

€10,332

2021

€861

€10,332

2020

€853

€10,236

2019

€850

€10,200

Can I Deposit More Than The Required Minimum?

Yes, you are able to apply for a student visa or resident permit with the minimum amount required by German authorities, which is €11,208. You can deposit more money, but not less. With the exception of the funds required to cover the cost of the Indian money transfer and the account opening and upkeep fees, the majority of providers do not advise you to deposit more than the minimum amount needed.

 

If you think you will need more than €934 per month, you could keep them in a separate current account, allowing you to access them more easily.

Where Can I Open a German Blocked Account?

You can open a blocked account with one of the providers listed below:

  • Expatrio

  • Fintiba

  • Studley

  • Coracle

  • Drop Money

  • ICICI Bank

 

Although you can open a bank account directly with a bank, only some of the branches of a German bank will offer a blocked account facility, which can lead to certain difficulties. Some German banks which offer blocked accounts include:

 

A small number of Indian students frequently transfer money to a banned account using Kotak Mahindra, an Indian company. However, the German embassy or consulate might not accept it as it is not registered in Germany. Even if, in the best-case situation, you are if you are given a student visa, you must transfer funds from Kotak Mahindra to a German bank in order to obtain a residence permit after you are in Germany. It is recommended that you open an account directly with a German bank or an approved supplier to avoid the additional stages and lengthy wait times.

 

Is it possible to open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank?

Deutsche Bank, a well-known banking company in Germany, has stopped providing blocked accounts for applicants seeking visas and international students since July 2022. As such, those who want a frozen account to obtain a German visa will need to look into other options in addition to Deutsche Bank to meet this prerequisite.

 

Also, read: Requirements for Studying in Germany for Indian Students

 

Intermediaries vs. Banks

Fintiba, Expatrio, Studely, Coracle, and Drop Money are private organisations offering blocked accounts; they are merely intermediaries between you, the client, and a bank. They charge you to open the blocked account on your behalf, and they have partnerships with German banks. It is beneficial to engage with these organisations even though they have a lot of expertise with Indian students and visa applications.

 

Although these companies have extensive experience with Indian students and visa applications, it is worth working with them, especially if you are opening a blocked account from your home country despite opening a blocked account in Germany. The process is completely online.

 

Furthermore, you can open your blocked account straight through Sparkasse or Postbank, two conventional German banks. The best time to use this method is if you are already in Germany, as you will require visiting the bank and speaking with a staff member to have the account opened before you can transfer your funds. Dealing with a bank directly while travelling can be more difficult because it requires mailing the documentation, which takes longer by nature.

 

If you need assistance opening a German blocked account or have queries regarding banks, please consult our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas.

 

Talk to our Counsellors

 

Comparison Between Providers









Providers

Fees

Processing Time

Online Application

Document Submission

Health Insurance add-on

Current bank account free add-on

Expatrio

€49 processing fee €5 monthly fee

Less than 24 hours to open the account. 3-5 days for the money transfer.

Yes

Online

Yes

Yes. Open 100% online as part of the Expatrio Value Package.

Fintiba

€89 processing fee €4.90 monthly fee

Ten minutes to open the account. Transferring the money and getting confirmation takes 3-5 days.

Yes

Online

Yes

No

Studley

24 hours to open the account. 2-5 days for the money to transfer.

Yes

Online

No

No

Coracle

€59 processing fee No monthly fee

Yes

Online

Yes

No

Drop Money

Processing fee starting from €45 Monthly fee €5 (paid annually)

24 hours to open the account. It takes 3-5 days for the money to be transferred

Yes

Online

Yes

Yes. With REVOLUT.

Expatrio offers the most affordable prices for opening a blocked account, with €49 to set up and only a €5 monthly fee. Because of their low prices and high-quality customer service, many Indian students now choose Expatrio to open their blocked accounts.

 

Also, read: Cost of Studying in Germany

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How to Open a Blocked Bank Account?

You have to be in your home country in order to apply for a German visa or residence permit because you have to open a blocked account first. Depending on the service you select, the steps to open a blocked account vary, but in general, you must:

  1. Contact the German Embassy to find out the required amount of money to transfer. Even though the minimal amount needed is often the same for everyone, make sure you verify with the Embassy first before transferring any funds.

  2. Open a blocked account with your preferred supplier. Remember that you can use an intermediary like Expatrio or open an account online. If you work directly with a bank, you will need to send in an application in writing; if you are not in Germany, this will probably be done by mail through the German Embassy.

  3. Wait for the application to process.

  4. Transfer the funds along with the IBAN and the necessary instructions to complete the transfer; your provider will send them to you. Either a bank or an international money transfer service or app can be used for the transfer. It will take three to five days to complete.

  5. Obtain the bank’s confirmation letter once your fund transfer is complete, your provider will send you the confirmation document for a Blocked Bank Account. This is the document that you need to submit to the German Embassy.

  6. Wait to receive the visa. Once you submit the confirmation and the rest of the documents, you must wait for the visa to process. You will receive a National D Visa, which lets you gain entry to Germany.

 

After you arrive in Germany, you have to:

  1. To receive a residency permit in Germany, you have to apply to the Ausländerbehörde for a residence permit within three months of entering Germany.

  2. Once you acquire residence permission, you can unlock your blocked account. Depending on the provider, there are different steps involved in activating your reserved account, but generally speaking, you need to either bring a set of documents to the bank in person or upload them to the provider’s website (if you are working with an intermediate business).

  3. A monthly transfer from the blocked account to your current account will be made once it is authorised. Additionally, a current account must be opened with a German bank; you may choose the same bank or a different one. It follows that you must open a current account with a German bank as well; you may choose the same bank or a different one.

    You can use the same bank account to open your blocked bank account with Expatrio, which will enable you to receive your monthly transfers without any issues once you get to Germany. To open it, you don’t need a residency permit because everything is done online.

 

When you travel to Germany and decide to open a bank account, you will want residency permission to do so. This implies that until you have a residency status, you will not be able to access the money in the frozen account. Thus, you should bring additional cash to cover your expenses during your initial weeks in Germany. This is another reason you ought to apply for a residence permit right away.

 

You should bring additional money to cover the first few weeks of your stay in Germany, as you cannot use the funds in the blocked account until you acquire a residency visa. You should apply for a residence permit immediately because of this reason.

 

How to Transfer Funds Fund to My Blocked Account?

As soon as your blocked account is opened, your supplier will give you the account’s IBAN (International Bank Account Number), where the funds are to be deposited. You have two options for transferring money: via an international money transfer app or service or through a bank using your local bank account.

 

Your provider will advise you on how to transfer the funds into your account. They occasionally operate a money transfer business of their own.

 

How Do I Activate My Blocked Bank Account?

To activate your blocked bank account, you must open a current account in Germany, which means you must register your address and get the registration certificate beforehand. You can only access your money after you open a current account. The documents you need to submit to activate your account are:

  • You must provide proof of having registered your home in Germany, like a rent contract or the certificate of registration from the city hall (Anmeldung).

  • Proof of your current account.

  • Your passport with the entry stamp.

  • Your German residence permit (some banks may ask for it).

 

If you worked directly with a bank, you may have to personally go to the bank with your residence permit address registration and activate it. If you work with a third-party company like Expatrio, Fintiba, etc., you can activate your account online. 

When Should I Apply for a Blocked Bank Account?

The processing time for an application to block an account is one to six weeks. You must, therefore, begin the application procedure well in advance, as you can only apply for a German visa once you have your bank’s confirmation. Your selected provider and the bank they choose will significantly influence the precise processing time.

What Supporting Documents Do I Need?

For a German-blocked bank account, you have to submit the following documents:

  • Your passport.

  • Proof of the origin of the money. Some providers may ask you to submit bank statements showing how you got access to the funds.

  • The application form. Depending on your provider, you must complete an application with your personal information online or on paper.

  • Proof of admission to the German university (if applicable).

  • Your ID card.

 

Note: The exact documents required may vary depending on the provider. Some might ask for nothing more than your passport, while others can have a longer list of requirements.

Is it Possible to Study In Germany Without a Blocked Account?

It is possible to study in Germany without having your account blocked if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

  • You have won a scholarship from an established educational institution in Germany.

  • Confirmation you will receive government funding or have an approved student loan in Germany.

  • Proof of sponsorship from a friend or relative living in Germany. Your sponsor has to make a formal request at the Ausländerbehörde to sponsor you.

 

You must receive enough support or a scholarship large enough to cover your daily living expenses in Germany, the same way a blocked account would.

How much is required to Live In Germany per month?

The minimum amount needed to live in Germany for a year, €934 a month or €11,208 annually in 2024, is what you need to pay for a blocked account. For this reason, a student’s monthly sperrkonto stipend needs to be sufficient to pay for necessities like food, lodging, and transportation.

 

Generally, whether or not this money is enough for you will depend on your lifestyle, but the area or city you are settled in also plays an important role. For instance, Munich is the most costly big city, whereas Berlin is among the least expensive (even though it is the capital).

 

Living Costs in Germany

The following is an overview of average prices for essentials in several German cities:















Essentials

Berlin

Munich

Stuttgart

Frankfurt

Rent (for a one-bedroom apartment in the centre)

€930.48

€1,311.84

€928.26

€1,049.29

Transportation

€2.90 for a one-way ticket €81 for a monthly pass

€3.30 for a one-way ticket €60 for a monthly pass

€2.73 for a one-way ticket €67.80 for a monthly pass

€2.75 for a one-way ticket €91.70 for a monthly pass

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant

€10/person

€14/person

€12/person

€10/person

Utilities per month

€218.37

€264.29

€234

€277.42

1 loaf of bread

€1.25

€1.70

€1.77

€1.24

1 litre of milk

€0.93

€1.01

€0.91

€0.94

1 kg rice

€1.84

€2.01

€2.05

€1.77

1.5 litre of water

€0.55

€0.59

€0.35

€0.54

1 kg chicken fillets

€6.87

€7.55

€6.86

€6.11

1 kg apples

€2.41

€2.86

€2.03

€2.53

1 kg tomatoes

€2.51

€2.96

€2.72

€2.53

However, since you can only withdraw the amount paid into your current account each month, the blocked account might not be helpful if you suddenly require additional money.

 

Because of this, and in particular, because you will be travelling abroad, you should have an emergency fund in your current account that you can access anytime.

Conclusion

To conclude, unless you provide further evidence of financial assistance throughout the visa application process, the blocked account must have enough credit to cover the expenses spent during your expected stay in Germany. Based on the costs for German students, some standard rates are applicable.

 

If you are looking for more details regarding Germany’s blocked account for visa applicants: process, requirements, and providers, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study in Germany. Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

Contact our counselors for application details

FAQs

Question: Can I open a blocked account with a foreign bank?

Answer: No, the bank you use to make the payment for your blocked account needs to be registered in Germany. If the money is deposited into a blocked account in your home country, the Embassy or Immigration Office will either reject your visa application or ask you to transfer the funds to a German account, which would require additional work and delay the procedure.

 

Question: What if I need to close the account early?

Answer: You must request that your provider shut your account if you need to do so early—for instance, if your visa is denied or you have to cancel it after returning home. To justify your actions, you will require documentation from the German consulate or embassy. The provider will return your money within two to four weeks of receiving all the required documentation from you. If you decide to close the account on your own responsibility, you might not receive your money back from the processing expenses.

 

Question: Can I get my money back if my visa application is rejected?

Answer: Yes, if your German visa is denied, you will receive your money back. If you give your provider the Visa Rejection documents you obtained from the German Embassy/Consulate, together with the details of your personal bank account, they will shut your account and return the funds in a few weeks. Certain providers additionally refund the money you used to create the account.

 

Question: How do I withdraw money from my blocked bank account?

Answer: Direct money withdrawals from the blocked account are not permitted. Rather, the amount is paid into your current account each month, and you can take it out from there. If you have deposited more than the minimum amount of €11,208, you can only withdraw directly from the banned account up until the excess amount has been spent.

 

Question: How do I extend a blocked bank account?

Answer: To add another year to your banned account, you will need to contact your provider. If your account is with Sparkasse or Postbank, you must fill out and submit a form. If you open the account through an intermediary (such as Fintiba, Expatrio, Coracle, etc.), you can extend it online. A cost is required, typically less than the start-up charge. Before you send in any money, be sure you have proof of the account’s extension or reactivation.

 

Question: Should I close the account after my studies?

Answer: When the one-year period expires, your account may end instantly with certain providers. If it isn’t closed automatically and right away, you can decide whether to close it or leave it open in case you need it for a future application for a residence permit. Eventually, the account will close after a certain period of inactivity; if you need it again, you’ll have to renew it or start creating another one.

 

Question: Can I open a blocked account from inside Germany?

Answer: You can register a banned account after entering Germany if you are from the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, or South Korea. This is because you can enter as a tourist, establish an account online, or visit a bank in person in Germany without requiring an entry visa.

 

Question: Why is a current account necessary?

Answer: Since a blocked account cannot be used to withdraw funds directly, you need to have a current account. Also known as a transaction/checking account or Girokonto in German, monthly instalments of €934 are to be deposited there. To make purchases and get cash out of ATMs, you can use the credit card or debit card that comes with a current account. Either a different bank or the same one may have opened both accounts.

 

Question: Do I need a blocked account for the second year of my studies?

Answer: A blocked account is officially required during the first year of study in order to obtain a German student visa. If your course of study is longer than a year and you need to extend your residency permission, you usually have to supply evidence of your ability to pay for your stay. This evidence does not always need to come from a closed account. It might be your parent’s or sponsor’s bank account or a personal bank account with sufficient money.

 

Question: Can I combine the blocked account with a health insurance policy?

Answer: Yes, many blocked account providers offer packages that include long-term student health insurance, travel insurance, and a bank account. The following providers combine their blocked accounts with health insurance: Expatrio, Fintiba, Coracle, and Drop Money.

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