If you want to do an apprenticeship or study in Germany from a non-EU country, you may need a blocked account for Germany. How do you get one?
What is a blocked account?
A blocked account is an account at a German bank or savings bank. Here you deposit a certain amount of money. However, you may only withdraw this balance gradually and after an agreed period of time. It remains all your money, but you can not fully dispose of it at any time. At the end of the term you get your money back.
The Importance of a Blocked Account for International Students and Apprentices in Germany
A blocked account is an essential financial tool for international students and apprentices planning to study or work in Germany. This type of account is a prerequisite for obtaining a German visa or residence permit, as it serves as proof of sufficient financial resources to support oneself during their stay in the country. By having a blocked account, applicants demonstrate their ability to cover living expenses, tuition fees, and other costs associated with studying or completing an apprenticeship in Germany.
The German government requires international students and apprentices to have a minimum amount of funds deposited in a blocked account, ensuring that they have access to a specific sum of money each month. This requirement not only guarantees financial security for the individual but also reduces the risk of financial strain on the German social welfare system. The blocked account provides a safeguard for both the individual and the German government, making it a crucial component of the visa application process.
Opening a blocked account is a relatively straightforward process, with several banks and financial institutions in Germany offering specialized services for international students and apprentices. Some institutions even provide online platforms for a seamless account-opening experience. It is crucial to choose a reliable and well-established bank or financial service provider, as this will ensure a smooth and hassle-free banking experience during your time in Germany.
Who needs a blocked account for Germany?
A blocked account for Germany is needed by anyone from a non-EU country who wants to do dual vocational training in Germany, for example, or who wants to start studying in Germany as a foreigner.
No blocked account is required for:
- EU citizens
- Persons with a Blue Card
- Persons with a work visa for Germany
- Students with a scholarship
- Persons who can otherwise prove that they have sufficient income.
How much money do I have to deposit into a blocked account?
You have to pay a minimum amount into the blocked account, which is required by German law. For each month that you want to stay in Germany, you have to pay 861 euros. So if you do a semester abroad of six months, this is 6 x 861 euros.
If you do a dual vocational training in Germany, you earn money every month. In this case, you usually have to pay less than the 861 euros per month into the blocked account. The German embassy/consulate where you apply for your visa will tell you how much this amount is.
The amount on your blocked account remains blocked until you arrive in Germany. You will then be allowed to withdraw a maximum of 861 euros per month from your account in Germany.
How do I set up a blocked account for Germany?
How to set up a blocked account for Germany
Find out if you need a blocked account
When you apply for a visa, the German embassy or consulate will tell you if you need a blocked account. They will also tell you how much money you need to deposit.
Ask for a smaller deposit
If you have an apprenticeship, a dual study program or a study program and need financing for it, you should ask if a smaller amount can be deposited.
Choose a provider for a blocked account
In many countries there are providers who offer a blocked account for Germany. The German embassy or consulate can tell you about companies in your home country. However, it can often be better to choose a German provider for your blocked account for Germany. Sometimes foreigners authorities in Germany insist on German providers of a blocked account to give you a residence permit.
Make sure the provider is reputable
Before you choose a provider for a blocked account, check very carefully on the Internet that this provider is reputable. Look at rating portals and comparison portals and ask best also in the German embassy / the German consulate. Do not take any risks!
Collect your documents
To set up a blocked account, you usually need 1) the relevant contract with the bank, 2) a copy of your passport, 3) a document that explains your status in Germany (for example, matriculation certificate, education contract, invitation).
Conclude a contract
Then sign a contract with a provider. The provider will open an account for you. Many providers require a one-time and/or monthly fee, which is often comparatively small.
Make a deposit
The next step is to make a deposit into your new account. Once again, check exactly who you are transferring your money to!
Receive a confirmation
The provider will send you a confirmation of your blocked account with all the information you need. Take this confirmation to the German Embassy / Consulate when you apply for your visa.
What are the providers of a blocked account in Germany?
We currently know of three established blocked account providers in Germany. These providers work completely digitally, so you can apply for your blocked account here in your home country and also in English. These providers are: Coracle*, expatrio*, and Fintiba*.
Accessing Funds from Your Blocked Account in Germany
Once an international student or apprentice has successfully opened a blocked account and arrived in Germany, they will need to access their funds regularly to cover living expenses and other costs. The account holder can typically withdraw a predetermined monthly amount, which is set during the account-opening process, in accordance with the German government’s requirements for financial self-sufficiency.
To access funds from the blocked account, the account holder will need to visit a local branch of the bank or financial institution where the account is held. It is essential to bring identification documents, such as a passport and residence permit, to verify one’s identity. Some banks may also provide the option to withdraw funds using a debit card, making it even more convenient to access the money.
It is crucial to manage the funds in the blocked account carefully, as the account holder is responsible for ensuring that the account balance lasts for the entire duration of their stay in Germany. Budgeting for living expenses, tuition fees, and other costs will help ensure that the account holder can make the most of their time in Germany without facing financial difficulties.
Closing Your Blocked Account After Completing Your Studies or Apprenticeship
Once an international student or apprentice has completed their studies or apprenticeship in Germany, they may need to close their blocked account. This process involves withdrawing any remaining funds in the account and providing the necessary documentation to the bank or financial institution to close the account.
To close the blocked account, the account holder should visit a local branch of the bank or financial institution where the account is held. They should bring their identification documents and any relevant paperwork, such as proof of completion of their studies or apprenticeship. The bank will then guide the account holder through the process of closing the account and transferring any remaining funds to another account, if necessary.
It is essential to close the blocked account promptly after completing one’s studies or apprenticeship in Germany, as this will prevent any potential issues with the German immigration authorities. Additionally, closing the account ensures that the account holder does not incur any unnecessary fees or charges associated with maintaining a blocked account.
What else do I need besides a blocked account for Germany?
In addition to a blocked account, you should consider whether you need other insurance in Germany. In Germany, there will be one central mandatory insurance for you: Health insurance. Everyone in Germany must have health insurance. Find out what you need to know about health insurance in Germany for foreigners!
The consumer advice center also recommends at least the following insurances:
- private liability insurance
- household insurance
- Our consideration: A household insurance only makes sense if you have expensive household goods (e.g. technology, furniture, furnishings) that you want to insure. If you only live in a dormitory or in a small room without much equipment, you can possibly do without it. Get advice on this.
Understanding the Role of Blocked Accounts in Health Insurance for International Students and Apprentices
Health insurance is a crucial aspect of living and studying in Germany, as it is a mandatory requirement for all residents, including international students and apprentices. The funds deposited in a blocked account can be used to cover the costs of health insurance premiums, ensuring that individuals have access to necessary medical care during their stay in Germany.
There are two types of health insurance in Germany: public and private. International students and apprentices should carefully consider their options before deciding on a health insurance plan, taking into account factors such as the cost of premiums, coverage, and accessibility to healthcare providers. Some health insurance providers may require a proof of financial stability, such as a blocked account, before issuing a policy.
It is essential to factor in the cost of health insurance when calculating the necessary funds for a blocked account. By doing so, international students and apprentices can ensure that they have sufficient financial resources to cover health insurance premiums, in addition to living expenses and other costs associated with their stay in Germany. Proper budgeting and planning will help avoid any gaps in health insurance coverage and contribute to a more secure and enjoyable experience in Germany.
Questions and answers compact
What is a blocked account?
You often need a blocked account if you need to apply for a visa for Germany and want to stay in Germany for a longer period of time. You have to deposit a certain amount of money into a blocked account, which you can then gradually withdraw in Germany.
How do I open a blocked account?
You can open a blocked account online with various providers. First, find out exactly which provider is trustworthy. Ask the German embassy or consulate for advice.
How much does a blocked account cost?
A blocked account often costs a one-time amount and a monthly fee. The one-time amount is usually around 50 to 100 euros and the monthly cost is around 5 to 10 euros. Prices change continuously.
How do I open a blocked account for the German embassy?
You open a blocked account for the German embassy only if you really need it. This is stated in your visa application or the German embassy informs you about it. Also check the homepage of your local German Embassy under Visa. You choose a provider yourself, sign a contract with them and present the relevant documents to the embassy.
What is the relationship between a blocked account and a visa?
In some cases you need a blocked account to get a visa for Germany.
Is it possible to get a blocked account under the age of 18?
Yes, you can get a blocked account even if you are not yet 18 years old. For example, this may be required if you are applying for a visa to study in Germany but are not yet of age. One provider for a U18 blocked account is Fintiba*.
Is there a right to a blocked account?
No, there is no right for a bank or savings bank to set up a blocked account. There is also no right for a bank or savings bank that offers blocked accounts to offer you one. This is another reason why it may make sense for you to use providers like Coracle, expatrio, or Fintiba.
Tips for Managing Your Account Responsibly
Managing your blocked account responsibly is key to ensuring financial stability throughout your studies or apprenticeship in Germany. It is important to create a budget, taking into account all necessary expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, tuition fees, and health insurance premiums. Having a clear understanding of your monthly costs will help you make informed decisions about how to allocate the funds from your blocked account.
Monitoring your account balance regularly is another essential aspect of responsible account management. By keeping track of your account balance and comparing it to your budget, you can identify any discrepancies and adjust your spending habits accordingly. Additionally, this will help you avoid overspending and ensure that your funds last for the entire duration of your stay in Germany.
In case of unexpected expenses or emergencies, it is wise to have a contingency plan in place. This could involve setting aside a small portion of your blocked account funds for emergencies, or having access to an alternative source of funds, such as a credit card or a loan from your home country. Being prepared for unforeseen financial challenges will provide peace of mind and help ensure a smoother experience during your time in Germany.