This is a special type of German bank account that was created specifically for internationals willing to come to Germany with the purpose of studying, job-searching or participating in the au-pair programme.
The account has to be opened at a German bank while you are still in your home country, preparing your documents for your visa application or, perhaps, when you are already in Germany and would like to obtain a residence permit.
This type of bank account implies that your money will be “blocked” for the duration of your stay in Germany. The amount that needs to be transferred serves as a guarantee that you can uphold an appropriate standard of living abroad and is defined by German authorities. Even though the funds fully belong to you and are held in your name, you do not have access to the whole amount at once and receive a monthly allowance into your regular bank account opened at a German bank of your choice.
As soon as you deposit the required amount, the organization that you have selected for the account opening will issue a so-called “blocking confirmation”. This is the document that the authorities require you to submit together with your visa or residence permit application. It functions as your financial proof.
What do you need a blocked account for?
You might find yourself in different situations where German authorities request you to provide a blocking confirmation – but whether you are pursuing studies, research or work in Germany, you will find it as a requirement for either your entry visa or a residence permit.
However, please note that the requirements for a blocked account opened for an entry visa and the requirements for a blocked account opened for a residence permit might differ. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of those differences in advance and select a blocked account provider that operates in line with all those regulations.
This would help to avoid unnecessary time and monetary costs upon arrival in Germany, as many students often need to open a second blocked account so that the local foreign office accepts it for a residence permit.
When opening a blocked account, there are certain points you should pay attention to:
The required blocked amount
In 2020, the amount of €861.00 must be blocked for every month that you are planning to stay in Germany as a student – this would be €10,332.00 for one year. However, we strongly recommend that you check the required sum at the website of the local embassy or respective authority.
Also, there are certain kinds of visas that require a 10%-increase of the standard monthly blocked amount. This applies to the following types of visas:
Visa for the recognition of foreign qualifications
Visa for language acquisition and visa for the purpose of applying for a course of study or apprenticeship (§§ 16d, 16f (1), 17 AufenthG – German Residence Act)
If you plan to apply for one of the mentioned visas, please make sure to increase the monthly amount by 10% (to €948.00 per month).
The requirements for a blocked account provider
Not many students are aware that most of the authorities choose to follow certain administrative regulations or the residence act for the ministry of the interior called “Verwaltungsvorschrift” in German. This document states that a blocked account submitted for a residence permit application should be opened specifically at a German bank and not a financial provider operating without a full banking licence. The service provider you choose should have the status of a German bank – this can be checked with the banking regulator BaFin in their database here.