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German Blocked Account for International Students

The Ultimate Guide for Evaluating and Choosing the Best Blocked Account Provider, Along with the Procedure for Opening the Blocked Account for International Students Seeking a Study, Language Visa, or Residence Permit in Germany.

As an international student who wants to study in Germany, there’s one important thing you should keep in mind—which is probably why you’re reading this article right now:

The German Blocked Account

You have probably already stumbled across names like Expatrio, Fintiba, or Coracle while researching about studying in Germany. Well, it’s time you learn why these names you keep hearing about are important!

Start Your Blocked Account Application Online Now and Secure Your German Visa.

So, if you’re a student from outside the EU or EEA and plan to stay in Germany for a longer period (e.g., for your studies), you must prove to the German authorities that you have enough money to support yourself. 

How do you prove you have enough money?

One way to do it is through a German Blocked Account, also known as a Sperrkonto. The names I mentioned above are popular German Blocked Account Providers, among many others!

You can learn everything you need to know about it here — we’re glad to be able to help!

Summary

  • A German blocked bank account is an account (for international students and job seekers) where you can deposit a fixed amount of money. This money is then locked and released in monthly installments to the account holder, proving you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Germany.
  • As of January 2024, the amount that must be paid into the blocked account when applying for a German student visa is 11,208 euros.
  • Be aware that not all accounts are equally accepted by all authorities. Make sure that the provider you choose covers all of your needs (elaborated below).
  • The opening processes differ slightly. Depending on the time you have until your visa appointment is due, we advise you to choose the faster option.
  • Many providers combine blocked accounts with health insurance for easy visa preparation.
  • Deutsche Bank no longer offers blocked account services.
  • Based on over 2000 student reviews and its excellent reputation in the market, Expatrio is the favorite choice for international students; where you can also open a bank account directly connected to your blocked account as part of the Expatrio Value Package – to receive your monthly payouts in record time.

What is a Blocked Account?

Basically, it’s a bank account where you deposit a certain amount of money. This shows the German authorities you have enough funds to support yourself in Germany, so they can give you the visa. Each month, you can withdraw a fixed amount for your expenses (currently 934€ per month).

What Is a German Blocked Bank Account Explained

It is primarily used by international students and job-seekers to prove they have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses for a year, a crucial requirement for obtaining a German student visa or residence permit.

While alternative methods exist to demonstrate financial resources, most international students favor the blocked account. By depositing a specified amount set by the German government, you show you can afford your stay and expenses in Germany.

Haven’t Opened Your Blocked Account Yet? Most International Students in Germany Prefer Expatrio.

Who Needs One?

Students and job seekers who need a visa for Germany also need a blocked bank account. Even students from countries that do not need a visa for Germany (like the USA, Canada, Japan, etc.) will need a blocked bank account for their residence permit.

If you do not need a visa or residence permit to study in Germany (e.g., you’re a citizen of an EU/EEA member country), then you also do not need a blocked bank account in Germany.

What is the Blocked Account Amount for 2024?

The German Blocked Account amount for 2024 is €11,208, which means you can use €934 per month for 12 months. But you must deposit the total amount in full!

This requirement is based on the BAföG rate, Germany’s financial aid program for students. This deposit is the minimum you must have in your blocked account to demonstrate you have the financial means (Finanzierungsnachweis) for a student visa.

This monthly amount also limits how much you can withdraw or transfer each month, unless you’ve deposited more than the required minimum.

Also: Securing health insurance is a critical step in the visa process, which is why some providers offer a package that includes both a blocked account and health insurance, making it easier for students to get both.

Remember that you must deposit 10% more than the minimum amount for certain types of visas, such as training/apprenticeship visas or language acquisition visas.

Can I ¼ϲʿ Without a Blocked Account?

Well, yes! ¼ϲʿ without a blocked account is possible if you can prove to German authorities that you have sufficient funds through any of the following alternatives:

Blocked Bank Account Alternatives in Germany

  • A document of your parent’s income and financial status.
  • Scholarship Certificate from a recognized scholarship provider.
  • Letter of Commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung): Through this document, a permanent resident of Germany (a relative or a friend) can guarantee they will cover all your expenses during your time as a student.
  • A bank guarantee.

How Does a German Blocked Account Work?

When you deposit €11,208 into a German Blocked Account, you get to use €934 every month for your expenses.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You open a Blocked Account before traveling. Before you head to Germany, you open a blocked account and deposit €11,208 into it. This step is important because it shows the authorities you have enough money to live in Germany for a year.
  2. You apply for a Residence Permit when you arrive. When in Germany, you must apply for a residence permit at the ܲäԻö (Immigration Office) within three months of arrival.
  3. You open a local bank account. Upon arrival, one of your first tasks is to open a student/current bank account at a local bank. This account will serve as the destination for your monthly funds.
  4. You activate your Blocked Account. You already opened your blocked bank account before traveling to Germany, but now that you have your residence permit and current/regular account, you must activate your blocked account on your provider’s website.
  5. You withdraw up to €934 each month. Once your German Blocked Account is activated, you can withdraw up to €934 each month through your current account. This is part of the initial €11,208 you deposited, calculated to cover your monthly living expenses.
  6. Remaining Balance. Every month, when €934 is transferred to your current account, it reduces the total amount in your blocked account. Starting with €11,208, after the first transfer, you’ll have €10,274 remaining. With each subsequent monthly transfer of €934, the remaining balance decreases accordingly, ensuring you have enough for up to 12 months of living expenses in Germany.

How Do I Choose a Provider for My Blocked Account?

Start by checking which ones the German authorities approve. Then, compare their fees, how fast they work, and whether they offer extras like health insurance.

It’s also wise to read what other students say about them for peace of mind. Make sure you can manage your account online easily.

It might seem easier said than done, but by the end of this guide, you will have an idea of which provider best suits you, so keep reading.

Which Is the Best Blocked Account in Germany for International Students?

From what students have told us, they look for good prices, safety, and quick service in blocked account providers.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best ones in Germany based on these crucial factors and our own experiences.

All of the providers below are accepted by the German authorities, have a health insurance add-on, allow you to apply online, and have affordable fees. So, do not worry about these aspects.

Here’s a list of the best blocked accounts in Germany for international students:

1. Expatrio

We have received exceptional reviews about Expatrio from students who actually used the Expatrio Value Package. Experience and good reviews are some of the most important factors, which is why we also recommend it as a blocked account provider.

Some details:

Provider + Health Insurance Setup Fee Monthly Fees Accepted by German Authorities Online Application Current Account Free Add-On
Expatrio YES €49 (cashback available) €5 YES YES YES. As part of the Expatrio Value Package


Additional:
It also offers free eBooks and resources for life and studies in Germany, access to top-tier accommodation in-app, and many other benefits (that are quite useful for an international student)!

2. Fintiba

Many international students also use Fintiba. While it is less affordable than Expatrio, as a blocked account provider, it offers benefits such as a health insurance add-on, instant confirmation, and online application.

Some details:

Provider + Health Insurance Setup Fee Monthly Fees Accepted by German Authorities Online Application Current Account Free Add-On
Fintiba YES €89 €4.90 YES YES NO

3. Coracle

Coracle offers the same benefits as the first two packages but is cheaper than Fintiba and slightly more expensive than Expatrio. The setup fee starts at €59 with a specific package, and it also includes an 80€ buffer, that is returned to the student with the first payout. Prices aside, it has some pretty convenient benefits, e.g., no maintenance fees.

Some details:

Provider + Health Insurance Setup Fee Monthly Fees Accepted by German Authorities Online Application Current Account Free Add-On
Coracle YES €59–€99 No fee YES YES NO

Do German Authorities Accept All Providers?

No, not really. You must be really careful on this part. We can’t offer you a full list of accepted providers since the list published by the Federal Foreign Service website is currently being reviewed. However, we can still give you a shorter list of accepted providers! See below:

  • Expatrio.
  • Fintiba
  • Coracle
  • ICICI Bank (India).

Remember: Before you decide on a provider, check their website to see whether they mention being approved by German authorities. Contact them directly to confirm.

What Documents Do I Need to Open a German Blocked Account?

This depends a lot on the provider, but here are the most common documents that blocked account providers usually require:

  • Your passport.
  • Proof of where your money came from, like bank statements.
  • A filled-out application form, either online or on paper.
  • If you’re a student, proof of university admission in Germany.
  • Your ID card.

With Expatrio, for example, you only need your passport to register and create your account, and you will get your account opening confirmation within 24 hours.

How to Open a German Blocked Account, Documents, Transfers

How to Open a German Blocked Account?

  1. Choose a provider approved by German authorities.
  2. Submit necessary documents, usually including your passport and proof of funds.
  3. Complete and submit the provider’s application form (most are online).
  4. Deposit the required amount into the account.
  5. Await confirmation of account opening and deposit.

How to Transfer My Money to a Blocked Account?

To transfer money to your blocked account, follow these steps:

  1. Receive the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) from your provider once your account is open.
  2. Choose either an international bank transfer from your local bank or use a money transfer service.
  3. Follow any specific instructions your provider gives for transferring the funds.

>> We have a detailed guide on this step; read it here.

Tip: It’s always best to check with the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country to confirm the exact amount, just in case.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Blocked Account?

It typically includes an initial setup fee ranging from around €49 to €150, and some providers may charge a monthly maintenance fee as well (this is usually at around €4.90/month).

Here’s a list of blocked account providers in Germany, along with their processing costs and maintenance fees:

Provider Setup Fee Monthly Maintenance Fee
Expatrio €49 (it can be returned to you in full). €5
Fintiba €89 €4.90
Coracle €59–€99 (+80€ buffer, returned on the first payout). No Fee

What Is the Cheapest Blocked Account in Germany?

Expatrio is the cheapest blocked account provider in Germany if we consider its setup fee of €49, which may be returned in full after activating both a blocked account and health insurance. You can get more information on this on their website.

From our experience helping students, the table above shows that blocked account providers are not only affordable but also make the visa process much easier, which we know can often be stressful.

When Is the Best Time to Open My Blocked Account?

The best time to open a blocked account in Germany is as soon as you receive your admission letter from a German university. In fact, we highly recommend this!

International students often face delays in confirming their blocked accounts due to high application volumes or banks being busy with their regular tasks. Starting the process early, immediately after getting your admission letter, ensures you avoid the rush and potential delays.

By the time you receive your admission, you should already know which provider you’ll use to open your blocked account, allowing you to proceed without further delay.

Find Out Why Over 10,000 Students in Germany Open a Blocked Account With Expatrio Every Year.

How Long Does It Take?

If everything goes well, your blocked bank account should be ready within a week of submitting your application.

For example, opening an account at Expatrio takes less than 24 hours to receive your confirmation. Naturally, missing documents may cause lengthy delays and lead to rejection.

Can I Open the Account Faster?

Unfortunately, you can’t. Even if you’re short on time, the bank or provider cannot process your application faster.

How to Activate My Blocked Bank Account?

You can activate your account as soon as you arrive in Germany. Here’s what you need:

How to Activate My Blocked Bank Account in Germany

  • Registration Certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung). This means you must register your address as soon as you arrive in Germany.
  • German residence permit. Apply for a residence permit within the first three months of arrival. You may need your German residence permit for the activation.
  • Proof of current bank account.

If you have these documents, start the activation process on your provider’s website.

Do I Still Need to Open a ‘Regular’ Bank Account in Germany?

Yes, you still need to open a regular (current) bank account in Germany. Your monthly funds from the blocked account will be transferred to this regular account for you to use. You will not be able to access it directly from the blocked account, which is why you need a regular/current account. Opening one should be one of the first things you do when you arrive in Germany.

To make this part even easier, the Expatrio Value Package offers a free current bank account add-on. This means you can open both your blocked and current account through Expatrio, as part of the same package, and receive your monthly payouts without delay! Pretty convenient!

How to Withdraw Money From the Blocked Account?

To withdraw money from your blocked account, a set amount of €934 will be transferred to your local German student bank account each month. You can then freely access and spend the funds. You can withdraw your money from an ATM, as usual.

FAQs

What if I Run Into Money Problems or Emergencies?

If you need more money, you’ll have to get it from other sources outside of your blocked account.

You cannot withdraw more than the fixed monthly amount from your blocked account. This account is set up to release only a specific sum each month, making sure you have enough money to cover your living expenses during your stay in Germany.

Can I Deposit Less Than the Required Amount?

No. You must deposit a total of €11,208 or more.

Can I Deposit More Than the Required Amount?

Yes. You can deposit more money.

Is a Blocked Account Required for My Second Year of Studies?

No, a blocked account is only required for your first year of studies.

To extend your residence permit in the second year, you can show financial support through scholarships, a student job, parental support, or a declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung).

But, if the Foreigners’ Authority thinks your financial evidence is not enough, they may ask for additional funds in your blocked account.

What if My Visa Still Gets Rejected?

If your visa application is rejected by the German embassy in your home country, you will be refunded. Contact the blocked account provider or the German consulate in your country, and they will tell you what you need to submit to get your money back.

The transfer fee will not be refunded.

Can Another Person Send the Deposit on My Behalf?

Yes, a third party can deposit the funds on your behalf. However, they must prove their identity initially. The blocked account provider may request authorization from you to that person or organization, a valid passport, and a bank receipt of the bank transfer.

Will My Money Be Safe?

Yes, your money is safe in Germany. Every bank customer is protected by that secures up to €100,000 of your money in the unlikely event something goes wrong with the bank. Plus, many banks offer extra protection beyond this amount. Everyone who has needed this protection has been fully paid back, so you can feel secure.

Can I Open a Blocked Account Directly with a German Bank, or Should I Use a Third-Party Provider?

Yes, you can open a blocked account directly with German banks, but not all offer it, and each has different rules. If you’re not in Germany, visiting the bank isn’t possible, so you might have to mail your documents, which is a hassle.

This is why intermediaries like Expatrio, Fintiba, etc., are helpful for internationals. They make things easier by letting you do everything online, avoiding the need to send documents by mail. It’s a smoother process with them, which we highly recommend.

Can I Open a Blocked Account at Deutsche Bank?

No, you cannot! As of July 2022, international students in Germany can no longer open a blocked bank account with Deutsche Bank. A very good alternative to Deutsche Bank is Expatrio.

You can open your blocked account in less than 24 hours with Expatrio!

How to Open a Blocked Account in India?

The process above is the same in any country you apply from. Here is a more detailed article about opening a blocked account in India.

Where Do I Register My Address in Germany?

You can register your residence in Germany at the Residents’ Registration Office or Einwohnermeldeamt, as it is known in German.

You must register your address within two weeks of your arrival in Germany. The bank will need it to send details of your blocked account once you arrive in Germany.

You can open your Blocked Account in less than 24 hours with Expatrio.