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Blocked Account in Germany

Germany is one of the most welcoming countries in the world for foreign students and workers, hosting around 350,000 students at its world-leading universities.

However, this welcoming attitude does come with some conditions, and one of those is requiring visa holders to possess a blocked bank account. This special account is compulsory for many students, job seekers, and those settling in Germany, so most arrivals will need to know about how it works.

In this article, you’ll find out more about what blocked accounts are and how they work.

What is a Blocked Account for Germany?

Learn more about our blocked account and the prove of financial resources for your visa application.

Before anyone starts studying in Germany, they may need to prove that they possess sufficient financial resources for one year of learning in order to qualify for a Finanzierungsnachweis (financial proof). In some cases, an entry visa will only be granted to holders of what is called a Blocked Bank Account.

These Blocked Accounts tend to be targeted at non-EU applicants for residency or student visas. They must contain a minimum deposit, which currently amounts to €853 per month or €10,236 per year. Only then can applicants be certified to receive their visa.

Blocked Accounts can be set up online very quickly and cheaply and are highly secure. They’re also sure to be accepted and approved by the German Federal Foreign Office when it comes to visa applications. Expatrio can help you every step of the way, and guarantee to send a confirmation of the account the next day after opening at the very latest!

Is the money safe at the Blocked Account?

As bank accounts go, Blocked Accounts are extremely secure. Only approved providers like Expatrio are able to offer these products, and are tightly regulated by the German state.

Increased blocked amount

Please note that from 1 January 2020, the presumed annual requirement that must be paid into the Blocked Account when applying for a visa will increase to €853 per month or €10,236 per year. This increased amount applies to all visa applications submitted from 1 September 2019. Please get in touch with your local embassy, consulate or Foreigner's Office to understand if this applies for you.

Can I withdraw money from my Blocked Account?

After you have opened a Blocked Account for studying in Germany, you will not be able to withdraw money from the Blocked Account directly (as is it ‘blocked’). If you open a secondary international student bank account in Germany (also called "Current Bank Account" or "Girokonto"), you can organize for a maximum of €853 a month to be transferred there from your Blocked Account each month.

How to open your German blocked account

Opening a Blocked Account isn't complex, and the whole process can take less than 5 days. Expatrio goal is to offer the fastest, cheapest and most secure way to open your Blocked Account.

How can I open a Blocked Account?

In the past, most applications for a Blocked Account were made via local bank, with the cooperation of German Embassies or consulates.

For those who aren't aware of what consulates are, a basic definition would be a "mini-embassy", often in smaller cities that aren't national capitals, or countries where Germany doesn't maintain an embassy.

All applicants for Blocked Accounts must still be approved by a German embassy. This hasn't changed. The German state remains keen to ensure that arrivals are financially independent but tries to keep the certification process as simple as possible.

Local bank branch

With Expatrio, there's no need to visit a local bank branch or rely on lengthy postal exchanges. The whole process is online, making the application procedure much easier, more streamlined, and more accessible.

Can I open my German Blocked Account online?

Nowadays, it's relatively simple to apply for a Blocked Account online via providers like Expatrio, who make the process simple and quick. Here's a brief outline of the steps required:

1. Open your blocked account

You can do this quickly, cheaply, and securely on the Expatrio Blocked Account service page by providing basic information about your status, nationality and age.

2. Provide identification documents

Generally speaking, applicants will need to provide the following information with ID and by filling out the relevant forms: their name, age, current address, and a scan of their passport. When this information has been provided, their application will be approved, and a blocked account will be set up in the applicant's name.

3. Deposit the right amount of money

When the account has been set up, individuals are free to deposit the required amounts. Typically, a Germany Blocked Account amount will be €853 multiplied by the number of months the applicant is due to stay in Germany. For one year it would be €10,236.

4. Receive a confirmation email from Expatrio

Expatrio will send you an official confirmation of your account and fund deposit the next day at the latest.

5. Attend an embassy or consulate

The final step is to visit a consulate or embassy to present proof of financial support. When that's done, you should be granted the required visa or permit, and you're free to start your German adventure.

6. Get access to your money by opening a Bank account

You can then open a secondary student bank account in Germany, to which you can have money from your Blocked Account transferred so that you can access it as you need. Find more information on our opening a Current Bank Account page.

How do I open a Blocked Account at Expatrio?

There are relatively few certified online blocked account providers, and Expatrio is one of the most popular. Expatrio provides a simple online portal to start the application process, and keeps setup fees as low as possible.

This is one of the best things about applying online for your blocked account. Digital provider Expatrio charges far less than traditional banks like Deutsche Bank. In Expatrio's case, there is a setup fee of €49, followed by blocked account charges of €5/month. Find out more and begin the process of opening your blocked account today on our Blocked Accounts service page.

How long does it take to open your Blocked Account?

How quickly Blocked Accounts are created depends on the provider you choose.

With Expatrio, accounts can be approved within only a few minutes and will be ready to use almost immediately.

When the account has been created, money can be deposited straight away. However, the process of transferring money to a German account can take a few days. So don't leave it too late.

Don't worry too much about having to start a bank account near your German address or university. When accounts are created, providers like Expatrio will assist with the creation of a separate German bank account and provide full details about how to access your money as soon as you arrive.

Apply early for your Blocked Account

Application times can increase dramatically during peak periods when local embassies are under extra stress. For instance, Indian students may find that accounts take weeks to create during peak admission season. This makes it essential to apply early for a Blocked Account. That way, the stress of meeting visa requirements can be considerably reduced.

Tips for opening a Blocked Account in Germany

The process may seem bureaucratic and time-consuming, but if you take care and follow the required stages, it's a very fast, simple, and user-friendly system. However, you can make it easier by figuring out a few things.

  • Open a Blocked Account as soon as possible; make it a high priority once you know you will move to Germany and will need a visa and get the process moving before you arrive if you can.
  • Also as early as possible, find out how to open a secondary bank account in Germany to make accessing the money in your Blocked Account as easy as possible once you have arrived in Germany.
  • Having a German current account can also make your daily life easier in many ways.
  • Know that the estimation for the minimum amount of money needed to stay in Germany for one year is €10,236 (€853 a month), so this is the minimum amount that can be deposited in the account in order to acquire a visa.
  • Use Expatrio’s services to quickly, comfortably and safely open your Blocked Account online - no need to visit a brick-and-mortar branch or to pay high set-up fees.

Do I need a second account that is not blocked?

It's also really helpful to have a smooth system in place for withdrawing money when you reach Germany. Remember, you will only be permitted to withdraw €853 per month as living expenses. However, nothing will stop you transferring other resources to standard bank accounts.

Many arrivals choose to use their Blocked Account as a buffer to rely on if their situation isn't ideal. You don't have to spend your account reserves, and it may be better to save them for use when you are more established in your German home.

When is the best time to open my Blocked Account in Germany?

If you are planning to move to Germany, one thing is clear: you need to arrange a blocked account as soon as possible. Make it one of your top priorities when applying for residence permits and student visas.

The reason is simple. Much of the time, applications and approvals will take 1-2 weeks. However, at peak periods this can rise to a month or more, leading to frustration and even the loss of study opportunities in some cases.

Don't take the risk. Apply for a Blocked Account as soon as you receive your acceptance letter, and you'll be in a good position to complete the visa process promptly.

Learn More about Expatrio

Having lived abroad ourselves, we know that finding the right information on how to relocate and settle in a new country can be difficult. We know that the lack of digitization and personalized support can make navigating German bureaucracy a very frustrating process. Motivated by these issues, we built a fully digital platform that provides all the general information and services to make your relocation to Germany easier.

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