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To provide you with the most relevant information for your studies in Germany, this section provides you with a comprehensive overview of the German blocked account requirement.

As an international non-EU student coming to Germany for your studies, you need to prove your financial capacity during the visa process. Unlike other countries, Germany does not accept bank statements as proof of sufficient finances. The German government requires the opening of a so-called blocked account (Sperrkonto), or alternatively a sponsorship declaration/formal obligation or a scholarship from an officially recognized scholarship awarding body. All this is to provide evidence of financial support for your studies.

For further information, please visit the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Three options

The blocked account must be funded with 10,236 EUR (as of September 1, 2019). Based on the 10,236 EUR, which cover one year (12 months), you can withdraw 853 EUR monthly to cover your living expenses, such as your accommodation, insurance, transportation, and food. However, the fact that you come from a non-EU country does not automatically imply that you need to open such a blocked account, and exceptions and country-specific regulations apply.

As an alternative to a blocked account, you can request a sponsorship declaration/formal obligation (Verpflichtungserklärung) if you have friends or relatives living and working in Germany. In this case, these individuals must officially declare that they have enough income and are willing to sponsor your visa. A sponsorship declaration can be applied for at the foreigners’ authority located wherever your friends or relatives live in Germany.

If you hold a scholarship from an officially recognized scholarship body (e.g., German/European public funds), you might also be exempt from the blocked account requirement. Should you be awarded a scholarship for your studies in Germany, kindly check with both the scholarship-awarding body and the German mission in charge to determine which documents need to be provided in such a case.

Country-specific regulations

According to the Federal Foreign Office’s visa regulations for non-EU nationals, select countries are exempted from the visa requirement prior to arrival for longer stays of more than 90 days. This exception applies to citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America. This means that nationals from those countries can enter Germany without a visa and apply to stay for study purposes while in Germany. Thus, those nationals do not need to open a blocked account until they have arrived into Germany, at which point the account can be opened with a local bank. All nationals from other non-EU countries planning to come to Germany for a stay of longer than 90 days must apply for a visa at the German missions abroad before arrival.

If you need to apply for a visa before arrival, we strongly advise you to start the process as early as possible and apply well in advance of the beginning of your studies. Additionally, remember not to make any travel arrangements before you receive your visa.

As of September 1, 2019, the Federal Foreign Office lists four providers that offer blocked accounts throughout Germany. In the following table, we provide an overview of those providers, divided into different sections:

Pricing and fees for opening an account – Other fees – Account approval – Account opening – Account activation upon arrival in Germany – Operating banks – Account usage – Account closure – Additional services – Customer service and support – Other information

Order of appearance in alphabetical order, last update: September 15, 2019.

 CoracleDeutsche BankExpatrioFintiba
PRICING AND FEES FOR OPENING AN ACCOUNT
Opening fee99 EUR150 EUR49 EUR89 EUR
Minimum length of contractOne monthNo information providedDepends on customer‘s choiceTwo months
Monthly fee5.90 EUR5 EUR4.90 EUR
Additional feesNo, but a buffer is requiredNo, but a buffer is requiredNo, but a buffer is reqired
Buffer requiredYes, 80 EURYes, 100 EURYes, 100 EUR
Sum of the fees and buffer
(for a blocked account period of 12 months)
179 EUR
(99 EUR + 80 EUR)
220.80 EUR
(150 EUR + [5.90 EUR x 12 months])
209 EUR
(49 EUR + [5 EUR x 12 months]
+ 100 EUR)
252.70 EUR
(89 EUR + [4.90 EUR x 12 months]
+ 100 EUR)
OTHER FEES
Extension fee60 EUR per year after the first year150 EURNo information provided89 EUR; monthly fees also apply
Contract amendment feeNo information provided150 EURNo information providedNo information provided
Fee for current accountDepends on the respective bank where the current account is openedThe current account function is included in the blocked accountDepends on the respective bank where the current account is openedDepends on the respective bank where the current account is opened
ACCOUNT APPROVAL
Account approved for visa application by the Federal Foreign Office
ACCOUNT OPENING
Account opening processOnlineThrough the German Embassy/Consulate or, if available, a local Deutsche Bank branch office in the country of originOnlineOnline
Verification/identification during account openingOnlineThrough the German Embassy/ConsulateOnlineOnline
Processing time: Account openingMax. 24 hoursNormally one week after all the documentation has been received, but longer in cases of numerous applications before the study startNo information providedSame day
Documents required for account openingCopy of passportCompleted and printed application form, original passport, prepaid envelope, evidence of the source of funds (e.g., bank statements)Copy of passportCopy of passport
Bank account opening confirmationBy emailBy email or postal mail, depending on the chosen delivery methodBy emailBy email
Confirmation after transfer of moneyAs soon as the funds have been received—between one and five business daysAs soon as funds have been receivedAs soon as the funds have been received—usually between three and five business daysAs soon as the funds have been received—usually between three and five business days (but can take longer in certain cases)
ACCOUNT ACTIVATION UPON ARRIVAL IN GERMANY
Processing time: Account activation upon arrivalNo information providedNo information providedAfter receiving the activation order documents, the account will be activated the next working day, and the first monthly blocked amount will be transferred in three to five business daysUp to two business days
Documents required for account activationEnrollment certificate, along with proof of local German address registration and current account for receiving monthly fundsFilled out and signed service order, along with local German address registration certificate; service orders can also be submitted at any Deutsche Bank branch officeEnrollment certificate, along with German visa document, EU entry stamp, proof of local German address registration, and current account for receiving monthly fundsCopy of visa, German address, confirmation of legitimation, German mobile phone number, and current account for receiving monthly funds (plus, in some cases, a facial photo and enrollment certificate)
Legitimation upon arrivalBy providing account activation documents to the blocked account providerNot requiredBy providing account activation documents to the blocked account providerVideo legitimation, manual legitimation, or POSTIDENT through the German national mail service (depending on the country of origin)
OPERATING BANKS
Operating bank(s)Postbank, BNP Paribas, and Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB)Deutsche BankMangopaySutor Bank
ACCOUNT USAGE
Use of blocked account as current accountNo, only as blocked account; additional current account neededYes; blocked account usable as current account in oneNo, only as blocked account; additional current account neededNo, only as blocked account; additional current account needed
Current account partnersNoneBlocked account can also be used as current accountMonese, N26None
Online account functionYes, after arrival for both blocked and current account in oneYes, only for blocked accountYes, only for blocked account
Account statements availableNo information providedNo information provided
ACCOUNT CLOSURE
Account cancellation in case of visa denial
Documents needed to close account in case of visa denialProof of visa denial needed, and in certain cases, self-declarationOfficial letter deblocking the account or original notice of the visa rejection, along with written instructions to close the account (signed account closure application)Signed closing order, official authorization letter to unblock the account, and copy of the initial bank transfer receiptOfficial certificate from the embassy or consulate confirming that the visa application was rejected
Fee cancellation in case of visa denialNo; processing fee is also refundedNo information provided49 EUR set-up fee is not refunded, but monthly service fee is refunded; in the case of bank fees for the money transfer back to the account of origin, the 100 EUR buffer is retainedNo information provided
ADDITIONAL SERVICES
Debit card providedMastercard debit card if current account is opened through third-party provider Monese
Credit card providedYes (credit card with direct deposit)
Additional financial productsYes, all banking products of Deutsche BankYes, current account with debit card through partner Monese
Additional services offeredTravel health insurance and student health insuranceAdditional financial products offeredTravel health insurance, student health insurance, and international student identity card (ISIC)Travel health insurance, student health insurance, ISIC, and additional study-related products, services, and insurance
Health insuranceChoice of public or private insurance provider One public health insurance providerChoice of public or private insurance provider
Travel insurance Incoming travel health insurance offered for free as part of the blocked account applicationIncoming travel health insurance offered for free if purchasing the value package (valid for 180 days after arrival; first 31 days are free)Incoming travel health insurance offered as part of the plus package (valid for three months, initially 95 EUR, cashback option if eligible)
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUPPORT
Customer supportDuring office hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00–17:30Via telephone, branch offices, and onlineBy phone, through social media, or through online contact form, answered within 24 hoursBy phone, online, or at the head office (Mon–Thurs 09:00–12:00 & 13:00–17:00; Fri 09:00–12:00 & 13:00–15:00)
Branch service availableYes, in all major cities and towns
FAQ section
OTHER INFORMATION
Based in (city)Hamburg, GermanyFrankfurt am Main, Germany (blocked account unit in Hamburg, Germany)Berlin, GermanyFrankfurt am Main, Germany
Year of establishment20151870Information not provided2016
Underage account providedYes, with written parental consentYes, with written parental consent
OthersBlocked account overseen and managed by law firm BranskyApp available./.App available

WE DO NOT PROVIDE ANY SUPPORT IN OPENING A BLOCKED ACCOUNT. EXCEPT FOR THIS OVERVIEW, WE DO NOT PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION ON THE BLOCKED ACCOUNT REQUIREMENT.

This overview is not legally binding. studyvisory’s aim is to provide you with as neutral, transparent, objective, and complete information about Germany as a study destination as possible. The provision of the above overview of different blocked account providers is based on the official listing of the Federal Foreign Office. This list is reviewed on a regular basis, and if new blocked account providers are listed, studyvisory adds them to the existing overview. studyvisory is an independently owned company and is not legally connected to any blocked account providers in any form. At this point, we do not have a signed agreement with any blocked account providers. Therefore, we do not show any of their logos or provide any links to their respective websites. We do not receive any monetary compensation from anyone for providing this overview. The order of appearance is alphabetical and does not present any preference for or against one specific provider, nor is it any form of recommendation. All information in the overview is retrieved from the blocked account providers’ websites and the documents that are publicly made available on their websites. All users who thoroughly check blocked account providers’ websites can find the information provided.

We aim to provide you with the most complete and accurate information regarding the blocked account, pricing, fees, application and activation processes, the required documents, and any available additional services when applicable. All this information was created with the greatest of care and is provided on an “as is” basis. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, correctness, usefulness, timeliness, or topicality of the contents and assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or for damages of any kind arising from the use of, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within this site. Should you find any incorrect information in this overview or should your experience with one of the above-mentioned blocked account providers reflect different facts, kindly fill our contact form and we will be happy to check the information in question and update our overview accordingly if necessary.

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