More bureaucracy for your student visa application? Sperr me! Katie Kruse from Red Tape Translation tells you how to make your rations last when you’re studying in Germany.
Are you in the process of applying for your permit or visa to study in Germany? Then you’ll need a Sperrkonto (blocked account). If you are a student from a non-EU/EEA country applying for a student visa or student residence permit, you’ll need to prove that you have enough dosh to fund your stay and that’s where a Sperrkonto comes in. A Sperrkonto is essentially the financial proof that you have enough money to cover your living expenses while you’re in Germany and that you will make it last.
Why is it called a blocked account? I kind of need that money…
It’s called a blocked account because the student only has access to their funds with rationed withdrawal limits each month once they arrive in Germany.
How much do I have to pay into the blocked account?
In 2022/2023, the magic number is 11,208 €. The total amount you can withdraw each month if you’ve deposited 11,208 € is 934 €. Of course if you’ve deposited more than this into your account, your maximum monthly withdrawal allowance is higher.
Can I open a Sperrkonto with any German bank?
Each service provider has pros and cons, depending on what you’re looking for. At Fintiba, for example, the process can be completed entirely online within hours. They all have different set up and monthly fees and the length of time it takes to officially set up a Sperrkonto ranges from 10 minutes to one week.
When do I need to open a blocked account?
Unless you have the right to apply for a long-term residence permit from within Germany, you’ll need to open your blocked account from your home country before coming to Germany. You’ll find that you won’t get very far without it, because confirmation form the bank is part of your visa application process.
Which documents do I need to open a blocked account?
You’ll need an application form, a valid passport, a university admission letter and a bank statement confirming you have enough funds to deposit. Depending on the service provider you choose, you may need a few other things.
What do I do now?
Have a browse of the service providers that offer blocked accounts, choose one and set it up! Then, include evidence of this with your visa or permit application.
Preparing a student visa application? I’d be delighted to talk you through the steps.