Blocked Account for an International Student in Germany
As an international student coming to Germany for higher studies, it is mandatory for you to prove that you have enough financial resources to support costs arising for the duration of your planned stay in Germany. There are some ways to prove these and out of them ‘opening a blocked account’ is the most popular one. You must be thinking, what exactly is a ‘blocked account’? Why is it blocked and by whom?
To answer the above questions and more, let’s take a look!
What is a ‘blocked account’?
A blocked account is different from your normal bank account. The difference is that in a normal bank account you can do transactions/withdrawals as and when you like, but in a blocked account you will have to deposit a definite amount of money (as determined by the German Authorities) and this money can be withdrawn only in monthly instalments (corresponding to pre-defined monthly living costs in Germany).
As of 1st January, 2020, a student visa applicant must have €10,236 in the blocked account so that visa processing can start. The maximum amount which a student can withdraw monthly is limited to € 853.
Do I need a blocked account?
Well if you are not from an EU country then generally you will need to have a ‘Blocked account’. For more clarity please contact the German consulate in your country. One of the notable exceptions is if your education is funded by a DAAD scholarship or some other initiatives by the German government.
How can I open a blocked account?
Most of the banks allow you to apply online for obtaining a blocked account. Before you start applying for the block account, please gather all the supporting documents you might need to scan and send to the bank authorities. Usually a checklist is provided for such supporting documents. It is mandatory to get the necessary documents certified by a competent authority like the German Consulate or the German Embassy in your home country. These authorities will then confirm the authenticity of your documents to the bank.
In the next steps, the bank will open the blocked account and send you the account details (IBAN and BIC numbers). Once the money is transferred from your end, you will have fulfilled the financial requirement to apply for the student visa in Germany.
Which are the banks where I can open a blocked account?
If you are applying for a blocked account from outside Germany, then following are the options you have (information courtesy: Foreign office Germany):
In case you are already in Germany and applying for a blocked account, you will many options as most of the banks will be able to provide you the service.
How can a blocked account be closed?
Under normal circumstances, the blocked account can’t be closed during your study period. Once the study period ends and you get a job or there is some other visa-type change, then you can approach your bank to either terminate the account or change it to regular bank account.
Of course there are some exceptions to above and for valid reasons like ‘rejection of your visa’ or in case you have to leave Germany (relevant proofs might be asked) it is possible to close your blocked account.
There are, however, two reasons why you may need to close your blocked account early: if your visa application is rejected, or if you need to leave Germany sooner than expected.
How much does a blocked account cost?
A onetime fee is charged for opening a blocked account and this is usually between € 50 to € 150. Sometimes a monthly maintenance charge is also incurred. Please get the relevant information from the bank you have chosen to open the blocked account.