A blocked bank account is essential for a German student visa. It’s proof of financial resources which all international students need to provide for visa application. Currently, students need to have at least 10,236 EUR or 8,5 Lakh Indian rupees available. Therefore they will need to open a blocked account in their country to be able to apply for a visa.
At this moment many of you will question how in the world they can do it because to become a client of any decent bank you apply in person and not online.
Indian students can open a blocked bank account from India without visiting Germany without a problem. Fortunately, there are some options to open a blocked account for your studies in Germany from your home country:
- Deutsche Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
These are the most common and possible ways for international students to open a blocked account thus prove their financial resources. In this post, I will explain in detail which one is the best and which exactly prozess you need to follow.
What is a blocked account?
Under current law regulations in Germany, if you’re an international student coming from a non-EU or non-EEA country, you must prove you have the financial resources (Finanzierungsnachweis) to cover your living expenses in Germany.
As of 2020, the minimum annual amount for a blocked account is 10,236 EUR. Students can withdraw a maximum of 853 EUR per month.
A blocked account is the most often used and effective way to prove your financial situation for the German study visa. The amount of money will be deposit to your German account and thus will cover the cost of living for the entire year.
You will be able to withdraw only a limited amount of money in a month. The blocked account meets the requirement of having the financial means to be able to live in Germany for one year as a student.
Foreign students must open a blocked account as soon as you receive your letter of admission because the entire prozess can take between 2 and 3 weeks and an additional 4 weeks for issuing a visa.
Open blocked account in Germany from India
As I mentioned above there are 4 ways to do it, but in Germany, only two banks offer this service: Fintiba and Deutsche Bank.
DR.WALTER is an insurance company that provides these services and Kotak Mahindra Bank is an Indian bank that recognized by a German government.
Fintiba is a large German company with a mission to help international students in Germany. Most of the students choose this option because of the ease Fintiba provides quickness of the prozess and low costs.
The blocked account of Fintiba is officially approved by the German federal office and is generally recommended by the local authorities. Fintiba also provides health insurance which you will also need for your visa application.
To open the account takes just 10 minutes and all you need its just register on their website, all documents you need it’s just an ID. After registration and arrival to Germany you can easily access your account and withdraw money, but only so much as allowed – 852 EUR per month.
You will also able to open a regular bank account through Fintiba. Officially Fintiba serves as an intermediary party between you and a bank in Germany where your blocked account will be created. Reason for this, no bank in German works with potential/new clients online, they always need to visit an office.
After you have finished you studies the blocked account with Fintiba will be closed automatically unless you extend it for visa extension purposes. However, you can keep your debit card until it expires.
Deutsche Bank was always a classic way for international students to open a blocked account in Germany. However, after Fintiba arrived on the market it lost its popularity. The process takes way much longer, as well as more work and documents are required.
Deutsche Bank has a more complicated system in place and higher costs. Additionally, it can’t be opened online as with Fintiba, you need to do it through the German embassy in India.
As an option, health insurance provider DR.WALTER can be used for opening a blocked account too. You will need insurance for your visa anyway, why not complete two steps in one and open an account and insurance which made especially for german visa application.
DR.WALTER has supported foreign students for 60 years, with the blocked account they want to make admission to the studies in Germany even easier.
A blocked account with DR.WALTER will be opened through partner since it’ not a bank, you can save time on the application for your health insurance and money too, as services of DR.WALTER are cheaper than at Fintiba.
A blocked account from DR.WALTER costs only 49 EUR to set up and 5 EUR for a monthly fee. The price for health insurance EDU24 is 33 EUR and for German Student 33 EUR for the first 19 months and 50 EUR afterward.
Another way is to open a bank account at Kotak Mahindra Bank in India. It’s an only bank in India which has cooperation with the German government. Kotak Mahindra Bank is an Indian private sector bank headquartered in Mumbai.
They have branches all over the country but mostly in big cities in the south such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad but also New Delhi. Students will need to visit one of the branches of the Kotak Mahindra Bank and request a blocked account for studying in Germany.
Once the account is opened, the bank would send a confirmation mail with the details to the German embassy/consulate. After a student has arrived to Germany blocked account must be opened with a local bank, it will cost around 150 EUR.
Which blocked account to choose?
As you can see there are a few options out there, but which one should you choose?
In general, the majority of international students choose Fintiba over other options mainly because applying through Fintiba is way easier and less time-consuming, and it can be done online.
In fact, it takes minutes to have your blocked account open and ready to transfer money. Moreover, you will receive a confirmation for the embassy instantly after the registration.
You can also ask your university which option they will recommend, they must be familiar with Fintiba too.
How you can open a blocked account with Fintiba?
Most international students have heard about the blocked account provided by Fintiba in cooperation with Sutor Bank. The ability to complete an application for a blocked account online without having to go through bureaucratic procedures has made it the most popular option among potential students.
The entire process of opening your blocking account at Fintiba can be completed online in the Fintiba web application.
You will be guided through the process and the account will be opened in your name. In terms of documents, you will need a valid passport/ID to open a blocked account. The passport does’not need to be certified by the embassy.
Steps you need to follow to open a blocked account with Fintiba:
- Go to Fintiba.com
- Fill out the application form. Once you have started the process, you will be redirected to an online application form. Here you must enter your personal data and verify your identity (scan your valid passport). Once the verification process is complete, your blocked account will be opened. This takes a maximum of 10 minutes.
- Deposit money. After opening your account with Fintiba, you must transfer the required amount of money into your account. I explain below how you can do it.
- You will receive a confirmation e-mail only after money is transferred. Once the amount has been transferred, Fintiba will automatically send you an email to confirm that your deposit has been accepted and that your blocked account is now active.
- After this step, you can make an appointment at the German embassy. Print out the confirmation email of your blocked account, as you need it at the embassy to prove your financial resources. That’s it! Once you have opened your blocked account, you have fulfilled one of the most important requirements to obtain your student visa.
- Highly important to open an account under your name, if your parents do it for you it’s still must be under your name. So only you can have access to money while studying in Germany, it can be done via the web or mobile application. There you can manage everything online and very easily by yourself.
How you can open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank
To open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank you will need to visit the German embassy or consulate in India. For this, you need to set an appointment through e-mail or phone in the embassy or consulate to get your application certified or attested.
Here are steps you need to take to open blocked account with Deutsche Bank but through German embassy:
- Print two copies of the application form
- Fill in the application form, leaving empty the following sections: date, place, and signature–as they must be filled in when you certify the documents in the German diplomatic office later
- Bring your passport and one colored copy of passport
- Proof of the origin of funds (bank statements)
- Two passport size photos
- Letter of University admission
- Verification fee 20 EUR
- E-mail confirmation for the appointment date
- As you finish with documents verification at the local German embassy, mail them on the Deutsche bank’s address in Germany (as it is typically written in the application form)
- The Deutsche Bank in Germany will in short (usually within a week) send you an email confirming you about an opened bank account together with account details
- As you have received the above confirmation email from the bank, you can transfer the required amount to this account from your of the local bank in India
The application processing time for a blocked account with Deutsche Bank takes anywhere between a week to over a month if you are applying right before the semester starts, but shouldn’t take longer than 6 weeks.
Once they send you the account approval and bank details you need to transfer the required amount to your new account – make sure you cover the setup and monthly fees as well (155 EUR).
After your move to Germany, mail or bring the activation form together with the address verification and student registration to a local Deutsche Bank office to finish the whole process. You will receive a debit card with access to your account.
Once you have your Deutsche Bank blocked account there shouldn’t be any troubles with the visa application.
How you can open a blocked account with DR.WALTER
Opening your blocked account with DR.WALTER also doesn’t take long only a few minutes, and you will receive the official confirmation, which you need for your visa application, on the next day – at the latest.
To submit application go to the DR.WALTER website and follow the instructions there. You can easily apply online by using a form and eventually uploading a copy of your passport. Then you can transfer the required amount and wait for the account opening confirmation.
Once you’re in Germany you’ll need to send them your address confirmation, university/school registration, and personal bank account details. Then you’ll have your blocked account for Germany all set up!
They will redirect you to the partner network where you submit your application. Their services also used by many foreign students.
Moreover, with DR.WALTER you will receive free ISIC card – the International Student Identity Card which will give you various students perks around the world.
This is the cheapest way to open a blocked account in Germany: the initial fee is 49 EUR and the monthly fee is 5 EUR. You will need to pay for any blocked account monthly fees, however, regular accounts are usually free.
How to open a blocked account with Kotak Mahindra Bank
First, you need to choose the branch of the Kotak Mahindra bank in India, where you’re going to apply for opening a blocked account.
As I mentioned, the bank has a strong presence in the south of the country but not in the north. Although it’s still possible to find Kotak Mahindra in New Delhi and some other few cities.
However, not all employees of the bank know this the prozess of opening a blocked account. For that reason, opt for a bank in a big city or call the branch before and ask if the procedure is possible.
The list of documents you need to provide for a blocked account in Kotak Mahindra bank:
- Documents of your savings Account Opening Form and Know Your Customer (KYC) as per Bank’s KYC grid
- A copy of your passport
- The University’s admission letter
- The email of Indemnity in the bank’s format
- Your request to change your status from resident to non-resident, and your Resident Account to NRO
- Outward Remittance Form
- IP Cheque for INR value equivalent to 10,236 EUR. Make sure that you provide enough amount in rupees including additional charges and loss in the exchange rate
- Student request letter – An undertaking from the applicant that will allow Kotak Mahindra Bank to Freeze deposited amount in the blocked account. This deposited amount will remain freeze until the student request to transfer this blocked amount to a German bank
- 1,000 INR worth blank stamp paper (email indemnity) that you can get from the district collector office or a local court
What is Know Your Customer (KYC) ?
Know Your Customer is a process that banks use to get customer information like biometric picture, address, and other identity details. This process helps to ensure that the customer will not misuse the bank account.
The bank can take a copy of any of your official documents (passport, voter identity card, etc.) as a KYC document.
Students can expect the entire process of opening a Kotak Mahindra Blocked Account to take anything between 15-20 days.
After you provide them all the needed documents, the bank will give you a letter of confirmation that the amount blocked. You can use this letter as evidence for your visa at the German embassy.
After having arrived in Germany, you can request Kotak Mahindra Bank to transfer the full deposited amount into a blocked account at the local bank in Germany. Therefore you will need to open a blocked account in a German bank, and a normal German bank account.
Normal local bank account for students is usually free, but for blocked you will need to pay initial and monthly fees. Kotak Mahindra Bank will transfer all money to your new account within 2 working days.
The benefit of opening a blocked account at Kotak Mahindra Bank that it’s free of charge. BUT keep in mind, that after you arrive to Germany you will need to open a blocked account ANYWAY, which won’t be free, expect to pay around 150 EUR for an initial fee and 5,90 EUR monthly.
All of the options above will give you money-back in case of visa refusal.
How to transfer money to the blocked account?
If you open a blocked account, not through Kotak Mahindra bank you will need somehow transfer the amount to the bank in Germany.
Clearly, you want to find an option that is simple, efficient, as well as budget-friendly. First, you need to keep in mind, that there is no free money transfer from India to Germany, in some way you will pay fixed fee some will depend from the amount you send.
I know myself, sending money from India and to India can be quite problematic but there are several options for that:
- International Bank Transfer
- Pay Pal
- Money Transfer Companies such as Western Union
My recommendation will be using Transferwise, its the most inexpensive, reliable, and efficient way to transfer money from account to the account.
This way you can also transfer rupees without losing much on exchange rates. Transferwise has the best exchange rate on a market and I am sure the money exchange offices will rip you off in this case.
It was specifically created to provide fast, affordable, and efficient transfers and this is what makes it different from traditional banks. This company is trusted in all corners of the world.
Through TransferWise you can send money approximately eight times cheaper than if you use traditional bank methods.
The process of sending money via Transferwise is quite simple: you choose the currency/country, the amount, then add your data (from where money should be deducted) such as debit/credit card or bank account, add finally bank account of the receiver. The amount will be transferred automatically from your bank.
While processing the transaction you can also see what is the current and guaranteed exchange rate, in this way Transferwise predicts an exchange rate on the arrival date. You can be sure they provide the best rate on the market.
Before transaction Transferwise informs you about the estimated date of arrival, usually it takes between 1 – 3 days to receive money in Germany, yet it depends on your and receiver bank, sometimes it takes just a few hours.
Transferwise is upfront with their fees, to send money from India to Germany you pay a small, flat fee of 498.11 INR + 1.78% of the amount that’s converted. In total it will be around 190 EUR. Your transfer will arrive to Germany within one day.
Money can be sent via bank transfer, swift or debit/credit card.
If can’t decide which way to choose check Transferwise reviews on Trustpilot.
2. International Bank Transfer (wire transfer)
You can also use classical bank transfer if your bank has this options, but it will be pricey. For this you will need:
- The recipient’s name, address, and account type
- The name and address of the recipient’s bank
- The recipient’s account number or IBAN (International Bank Account Number)
- The recipient’s bank’s BIC/SWIFT code
While using this method be sure that the amount you are transferring covers 10,236 EUR and additional feels bank charges. The process will take between 3 and 5 days on average.
Pay attention to following caveats:
- Higher exchange rates
- Higher margins
- Time-consuming in documents approval
PayPal around already for 20 years, noways its the largest international remittance services in the world. I will be surprised if you don’t use it yet. PayPal allows clients to transfer money from a PayPal account or a preferable card/bank.
Through PayPal, you will get a trustworthy and reliable service. However, it has several fees that will add up when you make the international transfer.
The amount of PayPal charges depends on the nature of the transaction, the amount of money PayPal processes for you each month, currency conversion, and country of the sender and receiver.
Moreover, you can only send payments using a linked Indian card enabled for international transactions.
Also if you are sending rupees to expect big lost on currency exchange, Pay pal set up its rates and they aren’t the best in a market.
People (including me) used to do money transfers via PayPal since it has a very convenient app and easy process.
However, I noticed that if you send or even receive money in the different currency they cut a lot on the exchange rate and sometimes charge a commission.Also read my post about money transfers to and from Germany.
Western Union has been known for sending and receiving money for many years. Most of the people use them to send cash, as they don’t require to have a bank account for this purpose.
However, as you will need to transfer money to your blocked account and not into someone’s hands having a bank account is necessary. Therefore you can only use their online services.
In the last years, the Western Union started to operate more online, where you can transfer money from your bank account to another country. The money will be automatically converted to the local currency.
Notice that money transfer companies are the most expensive way to send money, they have higher fees and bad exchange rates in comparison to other online options.
Nevertheless, remittance services such as Western Union or Money Gram have very unfavorable exchange rates and transaction fees. You will be paying a lot for their convenience and speed.
Euro or Rupees?
You can transfer the money in rupees as well as in euros. Rupees will be a cheaper option as you don’t need to exchange it in an exchange office beforehand. As soon as you transfer this money, you will automatically be converted into euros.
Fintiba recommends, however, to transfer money in euros. This guarantees simpler banking processes and faster issuance of the blocking confirmation.
Consequently better if you exchange rupees in your home bank or exchange office and after send it to the Fintiba.
How to access your account and withdraw money?
Once you have opened a local bank account in Germany money will be available to withdraw. You can only get cash through the regular account (Giro) which needs to be connected with the blocked account.
Therefore, you won’t have direct access to your blocked amount in Germany, but only to this debit card with a monthly amount.
The only amount of 853 EUR per month will be free to use and the rest will remain to be blocked. Although students can withdraw more money if they have deposited a higher amount.
The total sum of money in your blocked account will be divided on 12 months and so it will be your monthly budget.
Do you need to prove the source of the money?
With Fintiba and DR.WALTER there is no need to prove the source of the funds that you transfer. With Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, you will have to show the origin of your funds. There are different ways you can do this.
The most common way of proving your financial means is by submitting a bank statement that reveals your deposit records in a bank.
How much does it cost?
- When opening a blocked account with Fintiba, you will pay an initial fee of 89 EUR and a monthly fee of 4,90 EUR
- DR.WALTER will charge you 49 EUR and 5 EUR monthly. This is by far the cheapest option.
- If you opt for Deutsche Bank, an initial fee of 150 EUR will be charged, plus monthly fee is 5,90
- It’s free to open an account with Kotak Mahindra Bank, but after, students have to open a bank account in Germany, this costs at least 150 EUR
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