Opening a blocked account
International students from non-EU countries have to pay for their own living expenses when studying in Germany. In such a case, you also need a valid visa to enter Germany. You will only receive this visa after you have deposited a certain amount of money in a German account and blocked it in favor of the Federal Republic of Germany. With the blocked account you prove in the visa application procedure that you have sufficient financial means. The amount of money in the account will be blocked until your entry.
You can choose yourself at which German bank you would like to set up your blocked account. The respective German mission abroad will provide you with information on this. In addition, there are banks in Germany that offer special blocked accounts for students for educational institutions located at their headquarters. The following requirements must be met for the blocked account:
- The blocked account must contain sufficient funds to cover your expenses for the duration of your planned stay in Germany, unless you can provide additional proof of funding in the visa process. Certain standard rates apply, which are based on the rates for German students. Since January 2023, the assumed annual standard requirement, which must be paid into the blocked account when applying for a visa, is 11,208 euros.
- The blocked account may only allow the withdrawal of a certain amount per month. This is currently 934 euros for students.
- The blocked account may only be closed with the consent of a blocking beneficiary. The blocking beneficiary is either the foreign mission or, after your entry, the responsible foreigners authority.
Important: A blocked account only ensures that sufficient funds are always available to secure your livelihood. It does not entitle the beneficiary to access your account.
It is best to request the documents for a blocked account early on from the bank you have chosen. The completed forms, together with a copy of your passport, must be certified by the German mission in your country. Only then can you apply for the account for a fee of 50 to 150 euros. You then send the certified account opening documents to the bank together with your letter of admission to the university. After receipt of the complete documents, the account opening usually takes one week. However, shortly before the start of the semester in Germany, this time may be somewhat extended. When you arrive in Germany, you will receive an EC card which you can use to withdraw money.
Tip: There are also specialized service providers for international students (e.g. Fintiba, Expatrio) through which you can quickly set up a blocked account online. For a fee, they take care of the formalities and arrange everything.
Our International Student Assistance (ISA) team will be happy to assist you with questions regarding the opening of a blocked account and help you fill out the bank forms if needed.
Taking out health insurance
You need health insurance to be able to enroll at a German university. Health insurance is compulsory in Germany and serves as a safeguard that you do not have to pay privately for any medical treatment and medication in the event of an accident or illness. It also covers the costs of check-ups and preventive examinations.
Student rates for statutory health insurance
If you are not a member of a health insurance fund recognized in Germany, you must take out insurance in Germany. The statutory health insurance companies in Germany are obligated to offer a favorable rate to students up to the age of 29 or up to the end of the 14th semester. However, students who reach the age of 30 during their studies in Germany and who have not been insured for at least twelve months in the student tariff cannot switch to the statutory health insurance for students. On average, the contribution rate for students is about 110 euros per month. The rates vary because each health insurance company can levy individual additional contributions.
Private health insurance
The normal rate (i.e. for non-students) of a statutory health insurance company is significantly higher than the student rate in a private health insurance company. Therefore, for students who are already 30 years old when they start their studies in Germany, private health insurance may be the cheaper option. With private health insurance, there are many plans with different cost and benefit levels, so the choice is a bit more complicated than with public health insurance.
Tip: As with the blocked account, there are also specialized service providers for international students that you can authorize to take out health insurance.
Our International Student Assistance (ISA) team is here to help you with any questions you may have regarding health insurance. For example, they can help you clarify whether your health insurance is recognized in Germany and can give you tips on how to find a provider. Check out the ISA services.