Blocked account – Definition

A blocked account is a personal account that allows monthly withdrawal of only a certain amount which is equivalent to the BAföG aid ceiling amount (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz = German Federal Student Loan Program). In general, the BAföG requires a foreign student to have at least €853/month to be able to cover all living expenses in Germany. Accordingly, you need €10.236 per year at the minimum.

The most reliable source is the page of the German Federal Office: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/02-lernen-und-arbeiten/sperrkonto-seite

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Key-Facts:

  • Total Blocked Volume: €10.236/year
  • Withdraw Amount: €853/month
  • Mandatory Document: Blocked Account Opening Confirmation

Such an account provides international students with proof of adequate financial resources to support one-year living in Germany so that they can be granted a visa. Although this isn’t the only way to show one’s financial standing, creating this account is the most favored by international students.

Moreover, unless you have paid more than the required monthly minimum, such amount is also the maximum available for withdrawal or transfer within a predetermined period. The closure of a blocked account may only be possible with the consent of its beneficiary, including either the mission abroad or, after entering Germany, the competent foreigners' authority. Therefore, a blocking notice only makes sure there are always sufficient funds to cover living expenses rather than entitling the beneficiary to withdraw money from the blocked account.

Blocked account providers overview

There are a variety of other providers with excellent services that you may want to explore. It’s important to evaluate the different blocked account providers:

  • How long does it take to open a blocked account?
  • Is an online application possible?
  • Initial Service Fee
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee
  • Do documents need attesting by the German embassy/consulate?
  • Can I apply for a blocked account if I am under 18 years old
  • Can I take out my health insurance together with my blocked account?
  • Does the account need the German Federal Office’s approval?

Up to the country, some providers are better connected than others.

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How to open a blocked account

In terms of required documents to open a blocked account, each financial institution has its regulation depending on your nationality.

Some providers have an easy online process, here we recommend you analyze in detail. The fees for opening and maintaining a blocked account a between 110 – 150 € up to the chosen provider.

The proper time to open a German blocked account

Typically, your blocked account will be activated after one week since the day of application submission. The length of the process may vary according to your nationality, specific account providers, your paperwork, etc. International students often complain it takes longer to open a blocked account than usual due to the bureaucratic procedures or the timing of application. There are peak times that banks are overloaded with a massive number of applications, leading to a delay in your bank account confirmation.

Therefore, you’d better start the procedures soon after receiving the admission letter. To save time, think about the potential provider beforehand. Luckily, German universities cannot handle an influx of applications at the same time, so you can get an advantage of punctuality over other applicants that receive their admission letters later on.

How to withdraw money from your blocked account

Different banks don’t share the same withdrawal policy. Therefore, it’s essential to do comprehensive research on these financial institutions before using their service. Most of the time you need to submit your residence address to confirm you are in Germany. However, blocked account is not set for the money withdraw, if you begin with your life in Germany. Actually, you have to open a current account (Girokonto), with which you can receive the income and pay your monthly fee, such as rent, study material, food etc., in order to manage your account. EDUBAO would suggest you strongly compare with the whole process of different financial institutions in terms of blocked account and current account for international students!