Blocking accounts for international students to finance their studies
According to the current legal regulations in Germany, as an international student from a non-EU or non-EEA country, you must prove that you have the financial means to cover your living expenses in Germany.
Proof of funding is one of the essential requirements for a student visa and residence permit to study in Germany.
In this post, you will find detailed information about the blocked account, what it is, who needs it, which account providers offer a blocked account, how to open a blocked account, how much to deposit, and how to transfer the money to the blocked account.
What is a blocked account?
The blocked account serves as proof of funding for international students coming from a non-EU or non-EEA country. It is a requirement for applying for a German student visa or residence permit to study.
This type of account is called a “blocked account” because you can only withdraw the money deposited in the account after the holder’s arrival in Germany and only a certain amount of money each month.
There are other ways to demonstrate financial capability, but blocked account money is the most popular type among international students.
By transferring a certain amount of money set by the federal government (BAföG), to the blocked account, the individual assures that they will be able to cover their living and other expenses during this period.
What is the required amount for the blocked account in 2021?
As of January 1, 2021, the standard annual amount required to be deposited into the blocked account when applying for a student visa is around 10,300 euros to study in Germany. Likewise, the holder can only withdraw any amount each month (for students currently 861 euros).
This value sets the minimum amount required to be deposited into the blocked account to prove your financial means to obtain a student visa.
It is also essential to know that the required monthly minimum is considered the maximum amount that can be withdrawn or transferred by account holders within a defined period unless someone has paid more than the minimum necessary blocking amount.
Fintiba or Deutsche Bank? Which one should you choose?
Open Blocked Account Fintiba
Below we have made a comparison between Fintiba and Deutsche Bank. This table is intended to show which problems international students most often encounter when opening.
Which bank do international students choose most often for their blocked account?
Both providers have their advantages and disadvantages. But, most international students choose Fintiba over other account providers mainly because the opening at Fintiba is much easier, less time-consuming, and because you can set up the account online. It takes a few minutes to get your account opened and ready for transfer.
Many students who have chosen other options and providers to open a blocked account report delays and unreasonable rejections as the most significant problems they have faced. For these reasons, many students lost their appointment and did not submit their student visa applications at all.
In some cases, students were rejected without being given an exact reason.
In addition, many international students faced security issues with other account providers. Fintiba has proven to have very high-security standards.
On the other hand, international students appreciate Fintiba for its flexibility. The entire application process is simple, online. No legalization with the German embassy is required, and opening your blocked account only takes a few minutes on the web or even in the mobile app.
Since you are depositing a large amount of money into an account that will be blocked for a specific time, it is essential that you create the bank account under your name and that no third party is involved in the process. At Fintiba, you get access to your account, which you can access through a web application. There you can manage everything online and easily by yourself. Banks may send no documents or confidential data to you by email.
How do I open a blocked account with Fintiba?
It is organizations that act as an intermediary between you and the bank. Their job is to facilitate the entire process by making you self-sufficient and doing almost everything yourself.
One of these intermediaries we recommend is Fintiba. Fintiba helps international students and other groups of foreigners travel to Germany for various purposes. One of the many services offered is opening a blocked account for international students.
Follow these simple steps to open your blocked account with Fintiba:
- You must first register on the website
- Fill out the application form with your personal identification information
- Make sure you have filled in the application form correctly. Otherwise, it will not be recognized
- You will then be given access to your online platform, where you can manage all the personal details of your account
- After you receive the account details, you can transfer the money and pay the opening fee that the bank will charge you
- Your application will then be processed
Once the money has been transferred to the account, you will receive an email-confirm to your account showing the amount deposited.
After you finally land in Germany, Fintiba will help you open a regular bank account where you can transfer money from your blocked account every month.
You only need an ID card or passport to register with Fintiba and open an account.
Depending on your passport and nationality, you may need to complete an additional step, the final legitimation in Germany.
The best thing about Fintiba is that you can do everything online, and you don’t need to send original documents by mail.
How do I open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank?
Until a few years ago, Deutsche Bank was the only way for international students to open a blocked account in Germany.
With these simple steps, you can open your blocked account at Deutsche Bank:
- Fill out the form with your personal information.
- Print two copies of the completed application form
- Make an appointment at the German Embassy and make sure you have the necessary documents.
- The embassy will take care of the formalities of legalization and send them to the bank in Germany.
- Your application will then be processed.
- The bank will then email you to confirm that your account is ready and include further details.
- Transfer your money and pay the opening fee.
- Finally, the bank will approve the account balance.
Once Deutsche Bank receives your application, they will notify you when your account is ready to make a deposit. Once you receive the confirmation email, transfer the money to your account, and then you can proceed with the German student visa application.
Open blocked account
It’s easy to open a blocked account in Germany. You can complete the process in a few steps:
- Choose your account provider ( Fintiba or Deutsche Bank).
- Apply online for your blocked account ( only applies to Fintiba)
- Download and fill in the application form (applies only to Deutsche Bank)
- Seek proper legalization at the German Embassy in your home country (only if you have chosen Deutsche Bank)
- Transfer the money to your account
- You will then receive the confirmation.
- Documents required to open a blocked account in Germany
- The list of required documents depends on your nationality and the bank account provider you choose.
For example, with a blocked account at Fintiba, you only need an ID card or a passport to register and create your account. It usually takes less than 10 minutes for your account to be ready for transfer.
At Deutsche Bank, you will need the following documents to open your account:
- Application form
- Valid passport
- The admission letter from your university
- A bank statement of your income
- A prepaid fee
This article will show more detailed information about blocked account money with both providers. But first, see which bank account provider offers more benefits.
When should I open my blocked account in Germany?
It is not uncommon for international students to complain that the confirmation for the blocked account takes more time than it usually should. During your wait for the bureaucratic procedures to go threw, maybe take the time to send your application.
Sometimes banks receive many applications from international students at once or are overloaded with regular work, which can delay opening.
The good thing is that German universities receive many applications and cannot go through them simultaneously. You can get a head start and be ahead in time of other applicants who receive your admission letter later.
Therefore, we strongly recommend starting the process as soon as you receive your admission letter. It would be best if you had decided on an account provider to open your account, so you don’t waste time then.
How long does it take to open a blocked account in Germany?
Many factors influence the time it takes to open a blocked account in Germany as nationality, bank provider, German embassy workflow in your home country, paperwork, etc. Your account should be created within a month of submitting your application if all goes well.
For example, opening an account with X-PATRIO or Fintiba takes less than 10 minutes. Of course, missing documents can cause long delays and even a final drop.
Is it possible to study in Germany without opening a blocked account?
Yes, you can study in Germany without opening a blocked account. However, the blocked account is the easiest way to prove your finances for living expenses in Germany. However, you will need to provide one of the following financial resources proofs:
- A document about your parents’ income and financial resources.
- Evidence of scholarship from a recognized provider.
- Letter of commitment: this document allows a person permanently residing in Germany (a relative or friend) to guarantee that they will cover all your expenses during your studies.
- Bank Guarantee.
How do I transfer money to my blocked account in Germany?
One of the most critical steps you need to take when opening your blocked account is to deposit the required amount. Once the money has been transferred to your blocked account in Germany, you will receive a confirmation that your blocked account has been opened with the amount you deposited.
If you want to transfer money to a blocked account in Germany, you must get the correct information before making a transfer decision. First, you want to find an easy, efficient, and cheap option. Nowadays, transferring and receiving money has become much easier than it used to be, and banks are no longer the only way to transfer your money from one country to another.
You can transfer money to your blocked account in Germany using one of the following methods:
- International bank transfer
- Money transfer company
- International Bank Transfer
- You can make international bank transfers both online and in person.
To begin an international bank transfer, you will need to provide the following information:
- Recipient’s name, address, and account type.
- The recipient’s name, address, and bank.
- The recipient’s account number or IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
- BIC/SWIFT code of the recipient’s bank.
Keep in mind that using your bank for international money transfers can be somewhat expensive. Fees for international money transfers vary depending on the bank in your home country, so it is recommended to check the bank account and make sure that the amount you send covers the minimum amount of the German blocked account. Otherwise, you will not receive a confirmation to open the blocked account.
Usually, an international money transfer takes 3 to 5 business days, but it can take a few weeks in some cases. Once the money is credited to your bank account, you will receive your blocked account confirmation, which you can use as proof of funding for your German Student visa application.
Money transfer companies
Money transfer companies such as TransferWise, Western Union, MoneyGram, and PayPal are cheaper than traditional banks because they offer lower fees and competitive exchange rates compared to banks. For this reason, you must choose your money transfer provider based on the costs and the processing time.
Here are some money transfer companies through which you can transfer money to your blocked account in Germany:
- Wise (used to be called TransferWise).
We recommend Wise as a payment method due to its low and transparent fees for exchanges.
It was specifically designed to provide fast, cheap, and efficient money transfers, apart from traditional banking institutions. This company is trusted in all corners of the world and transfers more than 5 billion pounds every month while saving people and businesses around 3 million pounds in hidden fees every day.
You can transfer money about eight times cheaper than traditional banking methods through Wise. Why is it cheaper? Because Wise matches you with someone that is transferring money in the other direction. This saves up to 90% of the charges you would normally pay.
Some other providers add a surcharge to the real exchange rate on top of their fees, but with Wise, the transaction is made at the real mean exchange rate, which you can also see on Google.
International payments via Wise are delivered within 24 hours or less, which is quite convenient compared to the 3-5 business days with regular banks.
Western Union was known for sending and receiving telegrams until a few years ago. This company has entered the money transfer market and is available in 200 countries with 130 currencies. There are numerous ways to send money through Western Union, including online money transfers. Regardless of what you pay with, whether your credit or debit card or your bank deposit, everything is possible with Western Union. However, if you do more research, you will find that Western Union offers higher fees and weaker exchange rates compared to other online options.
PayPal is also one of the international money transfer options. Through PayPal, you get a trustworthy and reliable service. However, several monthly fees accumulate when you transfer money internationally. This e-commerce company facilitates payments between parties through online money transfers.
Tips on how to transfer the money to your blocked account
Before transferring money to your German blocked account, compare the exchange rates that apply to your transaction, as they may affect the total cost.
Be aware of any additional monthly fees that may apply to your transfers, as companies with higher exchange rates may also charge higher fees.
The money you transfer to your blocked account must be received into the account in Euros (€), as the account is located in Germany.
Talk to your bank and make sure that the transaction is in euros and that the amount transferred (in your home currency) is equal to the required amount of €10,332.
Can you withdraw money from your blocked account?
Once you have settled in at a registered address, you can withdraw money from your blocked account amount within the limit of your monthly allowance. However, keep in mind that you will not have direct access to your account in Germany. You can withdraw money by opening an international student bank account in Germany, where the bank will then transfer your monthly allowance each month.
Currently, you can withdraw a maximum of €861 per month (sometimes up to €735) unless you have deposited more money than required. This monthly allowance will be transferred from your blocked account to your regular account (or international student bank account), from where you can then freely withdraw your money.
Frequently asked questions about the blocked account
Can I transfer more than 10,332 euros?
Yes, you can. 10,332 Euros is only the minimum amount you need to apply for your German student visa. The German government wants you to have the necessary funds to live in Germany for at least one year.
What happens if my application for a student visa in Germany is rejected?
If your visa application is rejected by the German Embassy in your home country, you will receive a refund. Contact the blocked account provider in person or go to the German Embassy in your home country and find out what you need to submit to get your money back. However, keep in mind that transfer fees are non-refundable.
Why can’t I use my savings account?
With a savings account, the student would be able to take out more money than he should and could end up spending too much. A unique feature of the blocked account is that the holder cannot withdraw or transfer any amount of cash. He may use a maximum of the allowable amount from the account in the month unless he has deposited more than the prescribed minimum amount. This monthly allowance is intended to provide enough money for the entire period of studying. For this reason, a savings account isn’t accepted.
Must I declare the source of the money when opening the blocked account?
Yes, you must indicate the source of your funds. There are several ways to prove this.
The most common way to prove your financial resources is to submit a bank statement disclosing your deposits.
Is there an administrative fee to open an account?
Yes, most providers will charge you a one-time fee to open the blocked account. Find out in advance what costs you should expect.
Do I have to pay a fee to maintain my blocked account?
Most providers also have basic monthly fees to maintain the account.
Can a third party send the deposit on my behalf?
Yes, a third party can deposit the money on your behalf. However, you must first prove your identity. The provider may request authorization from you for that person or organization, a valid passport, and a bank record of the transfer.
Is the money in my blocked account safe?
Yes. The Banking Association in Germany participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, where each Deutsche Bank guarantees deposits of up to 20% of your total capital.
Are there any exceptions to opening a blocked account?
A blocked account is just one of the ways to prove that you have the financial resources. However, most international students choose this option for proof of funding. There are also other forms of proof of funding, but which option you are entitled to from the German Embassy in your home country. For example, you may have a relative who lives in Germany and guarantees that they will cover the costs of your stay in Germany.
Can I speed up the procedure to open a blocked account?
Unfortunately, no. Even if you are running out of time, the bank cannot proceed with your application any faster than it usually would. The speed of opening also depends on the provider.
How do I open a Germany blocked account in India?
The process described above is the same in any country you are applying from. Here is a detailed article on opening a blocked account in India.
Where do I register my address for my blocked account?
You can register your place of residence in Germany at the Residents’ Registration Office. Within two weeks of your arrival in Germany, you will need to register your address. The bank will need some information to enter more details about your account after arriving in Germany.