Comprehensive Guide to Blocked Bank Accounts for International Students in Germany

  • Author: Admin
  • November 13, 2023
Comprehensive Guide to Blocked Bank Accounts for International Students in Germany
Comprehensive Guide to Blocked Bank Accounts for International Students in Germany

Germany has become a popular destination for international students due to its high-quality education system and rich cultural heritage. One crucial aspect of preparing for studies in Germany is understanding the financial requirements, particularly the need for a blocked bank account or “Sperrkonto.” This article provides a detailed guide on the blocked bank account in Germany, including its purpose, how to open one, the costs involved, and alternatives.

What is a Blocked Bank Account in Germany?

A blocked bank account, known in German as “Sperrkonto,” is a special type of bank account required by international students and job-seekers who wish to study or work in Germany. This account is used to prove that the individual has sufficient financial resources to cover their cost of living in Germany. The funds in this account are restricted, with students allowed to withdraw only a fixed amount monthly.

2023 Financial Requirements

As of 2023, visa-seeking students must deposit €11,208 into their blocked bank account. This sum represents the estimated cost of living for one year, calculated at €934 per month. Some visas may require an additional 10% of funds.

Who Needs a Blocked Bank Account?

Generally, non-EU and non-EEA citizens who need a visa or residence permit to study in Germany are required to have a blocked bank account. This requirement is not applicable to EU and EEA citizens.

The Process of Opening a Blocked Bank Account

  • Inquiry and Application: Start by inquiring with the German embassy or consulate about the specific type of blocked account needed. Choose a provider and start your application, usually online.
  • Money Transfer: Once your application is processed and you receive the account details (IBAN/BIC), transfer the required funds.
  • Confirmation and Visa Application: After transferring the money, you'll receive a confirmation statement from the bank, which is needed for your visa application.

Leading Providers

  • Coracle
  • Expatrio
  • Fintiba

It's important to research and choose a provider that best suits your needs.

Costs Involved in Opening a Blocked Account

Each provider has its service fees. For instance, in 2023:

  • Coracle charges €99.
  • Expatrio's fee is €109 (€49 setup + 12 x €5 monthly).
  • Fintiba costs €147.80 (€89 setup + 12 x €4.90 monthly).

These fees are subject to change, and additional surcharges may apply.

Is €934 Per Month Sufficient?

The German Federal Foreign Office estimates that €934 per month should cover typical living expenses in most German university cities. However, in cities with high living costs like Munich or Hamburg, this amount may be insufficient.

Safety and Risks of Blocked Bank Accounts

Blocked bank accounts offered by institutions regulated by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) are generally considered safe. Nonetheless, risks exist, as evidenced by past issues with some providers. It's crucial to conduct thorough research, check reviews, and consult with universities or fellow students before choosing a provider.

Alternatives to Blocked Bank Accounts

While blocked accounts are common, there are alternatives:

  • Scholarships: A scholarship can offset the amount required in a blocked account.
  • Letter of Obligation: A family member or friend in Germany can financially sponsor you.
  • Financial Guarantee: A guarantee from your parents or a bank.

Always consult with the embassy for viable options.


Opening a blocked bank account is a critical step for international students planning to study in Germany. It requires careful consideration of the provider, understanding the associated costs, and assessing the sufficiency of funds. By following the outlined steps and considering alternatives, students can ensure a smooth financial transition to their new academic journey in Germany.