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How to Open a Student Blocked Account in Germany
For information about normal students account, please check best bank accounts for students and trainees in Germany.
What is a blocked account?
Most embassies now require a foreign student (non-EU or non OECD country) applying for a student Visa to open a blocked account. This blocked account is required for meeting the living costs of student while studying in Germany. Currently (as of Aug. 17), foreign students must prove at least € 8,640 per year (or about € 720 per month) at the disposal. A blocked account allows a student to withdraw only € 720 per month from the blocked account. The remaining money remains blocked in the bank for the remaining duration of course of study. Some embassy/consulate might require enough money be deposited into the blocked account for the entire duration of the study. Therefore, the embassy/consulate might require a student to deposit € 17,280 for a two-year master’s program. Some embassies/consulate might be satisfied with depositing enough money to cover the expenses for one year. In such case the student might be required to submit proof of financial resource to extend the visa/resident permit for the second year. There are two ways to open a student blocked bank accounts depending on the embassy/consulate through which the student is applying for a student visa. Some embassies require student to open up student blocked bank account (Sperrkonto) and deposit the necessary funds before applying for the visa from the country of residence. Other embassies might require the student to take a demand draft for the required amount and when in Germany block the savings account (Sparkonto) before getting the Resident permit extended. Blocked accounts (Sperrkonto) can be opened from a foreign country, whereas blocking a saving account (Sparkonto) must be done in Germany. For students from Iran or Syria who cannot open a blocked account from your country, please read below for further information.
How to open a student blocked bank (Sperrkonto) account in Germany from a foreign country
Though many banks provide such service, Deutsche bank is one of the biggest and probably the easiest which provides this service to students and allows them to open a bank account from a foreign country. Applying for a blocked account from Deutsche bank
- Step 1 : Download the application form from the Deutsche-bank website. Make sure to download the appropriate form based on your age.
- Step 2: Fill the online application form electronically and print them out. Sign the application form and take a copy.
- Step 3: Take the original signed application form along with a copy of the passport and the acceptance letter from the German University to the German Embassy/Consulate where you are applying for the Visa. The embassy will then certify your signature, the application form and other documents.
- Step 4: Send the certified and attested application forms along with the documents to Deutsche bank in Germany.
Transferring money to the student blocked account (Sperrkonto) in Deutsche bank
- Step 1: Deutsche bank will then send you an email with your new account number of the blocked account (Sperrkonto) and IBAN code. Use these details to transfer the money from your bank account in your country to the new blocked Deutsche bank account. Make sure that enough money is transferred to take into account the € 150 administration fee (as of Aug. 2017) charged by Deutsche bank for this service.
- Step 2: The bank will then provide you with a document confirming credit of your account with the necessary mandatory minimum amount as required by the Embassy/Consulate. Use this document while submitting your visa application at the German Embassy in your country.
Activating the student blocked account (Sperrkonto) in Germany
- Once you’re in Germany visit a Deutsche bank branch nearest you with all the available documents and request the staff to complete this service order and activate the blocked account (Sperrkonto).
- You will need to provide your local address while providing the service order to activate your account. Therefore, you may need to register your address with the city administration and have a copy of the registration (Anmeldung) with you. Make sure to take your passport and along with the letter from the consulate with you.
Blocked account for students from Iran and Syria
Since there has been lot of questions from students from Iran and Syria regarding how to open a blocked account, I did a search to find the following information which may be helpful to them. The information was collected from reliable German website however, please contact the German embassy in your country to confirm if this information is correct. Unfortunately since Germany has put financial sanctions on certain countries (Sudan, Syria, Iran and North Korea), German banks are not allowed to open account for citizens from these countries. Sadly, this is also affecting students who wish to study here and open a students blocked account. However, there are some possibilities on how you can overcome this. An article in the German magazine Zeit magazine (in German) discusses the problems faced by a Syrian student to open a students account. The reporter in the article contacted some banks and found that it is possible for an student from Syria (or Iran) to open a blocked account (sperrkonto) in the local Sparkasse bank or Volksbank in the city where you wish to study. Sparkasse banks were the state run banks which are now privatized, however, each city sparkasse is different from the other and there is no central head office. So you will have to contact the local sparkasse bank in the city of the university in order to open the account. Volksbanks is the co-operative banks which are service oriented banks and also allow opening the bank account for students from Iran and Syria. However, there has been problem since some of these banks do not open an account when you are not in Germany and refuse opening a bank account when you are still in Iran or Syria, as it was witnessed by some students.
To overcome this problem, the FAQ (in German) in Study-in-Germany – The link has been removed by the website so a web-archive link is provided- (official German government website for studying in Germany) provides the following solution (translated to English from German).
Q : I'm from Iran and I have been admitted to a master's degree in Germany. However, because of sanctions against Iranian it is not possible to set up a blocked account (Sperrkonnto) with a German bank, and transfer money from Iran. Is there an alternative way to still get a students visa? Can a student, for example, bring the money in a cash? A. Yes, for Iranian citizens, it is possible to bring the money in cash upon entry, as long as the total does not exceed EUR 10,000.
According to the above answer, it says that an Iranian student (or student from Syria, Sudan or North Korea) may be able to bring up to €10,000 (Ten thousand Euros) in cash when they come to Germany (on a 3 month Visa). This cash can be deposited to a bank in Germany, in the city where you are going to study, and then open a student blocked account. Once you get the students blocked account, you can apply for extending the Students Visa in Germany. As already informed, this information though available in a German government aided website, is not certain and the information from the embassy in Iran or Syria is the final. I would like to hear from students who have been successful in opening such an account so that I can update this page and can help other students also.
Updated information: Some embassies were not accepting this. So here is a legal source of such information. The requirements for getting a Student Visa as published by the German Embassy at Tehran (PDF document).
In page two it says
“ein Finanzierungsnachweis zu Ihrem Studienaufenthalt in Deutschland, wie z.B.einen Nachweis über den Gegenwert von mindestens 7.908,- € *Bankguthaben in Iran (Sie sind verpflichtet, diesen Euro-Betrag in bar bei der Einreise mit sich zu führen, um in Deutschland ein Sperrkonto einzurichten, bitte beachten Sie bei der Einfuhr von Barmitteln die Zollvorschriften der Europäischen Gemeinschaft, nähere Informationen zu diesem Thema finden Sie in der Rubrik Rechts- und Konsularangelegenheiten >Zollvorschriften > Anmeldepflicht für Barmittel von 10.000,- Euro oder mehr bei Reisen in oder aus der Europäischen Union)”
Roughly translated it means,
“A proof of financing for your studies in Germany, such as proof of the equivalent of at least 7,908, € as cash in a bank in Iran (You are obliged to take this Euro amount in cash when entering and with it set up a blocked account in Germany. Please note the limit on imports of cash the customs rules of the European Community, further information on this topic can be found in section “Rechts- und Konsularangelegenheiten” …notification for Cash of 10.000, – Euro or more when traveling to or from the European Union).”
So it is clear that you just need to show proof that you have the money, you can then take it as cash and open a bank account when you arrive in Germany. Please note, this is applicable only for citizens of countries (e.g. Iran, Syria, North Korea, South Sudan) who cannot open a bank account in Germany due to sanctions.
DO’s and DON’TS
– DO send your application at least two weeks in advance. It usually takes one to 2 weeks to open the account. However, shortly before the start of University it might take longer time. Therefore, have a timeframe for at least two weeks for this process.
– DO NOT fill the application form by hand.
– DO NOT send forms which are not authenticated by the embassy
– DO NOT send fax or scanned copy of forms, always send the original authenticated forms by post.
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