Opening a bank account in Germany

German bank account

If you are staying in Germany for a longer period, it makes sense to open a German bank account. This simplifies everyday life as well as monthly payments such as shopping, insurance, rent, semester fees, etc. Certain student dormitories, for example, may only accept money transfers through German banks (please inquire with them directly regarding this).

To open a German bank account, you will need these documents:

  • City Residence/Accommodation Registration Document
  • Valid passport or an EU-ID

Depending on the bank and type of account, banks may require additional documents, so please inform yourself in advance.

There are many banks in Germany, including private banks, savings banks, international banks, and online/mobile banks. It is up to you to decide which bank you would like to open an account with that best suits your needs.

You will need a blocked account as proof of financial means to apply for your visa, if you want to apply for a new residence permit once you are in Germany or to extend your residence permit.

The Foreigners' Office only accepts a blocked account from a German bank when extending your residence permit.

To open a blocked account, you will typically need the following documents. Please be aware that all banks require different documentation, so you will need to check with them directly what you will need to open an account:

  • Admission letter
  • Valid passport
  • Completed Blocked account application form
  • Bank statements from the last 3 months.
  • Blocked account letter from the Foreigner's Office showing the required amount needed to be transferred (does not apply to all banks)

Most banks first require a normal German bank account. Then you have to sign a one-page form that changes your account from a local bank account to a blocked account. To do this, you must transfer a certain amount of money to this account for each month you wish to stay in Germany. For more information, please visit the following website:Residence permit

For the online banking options, you will need to show a blocked account confirmation letter that proves the money will be transferred into a German bank. You can show this via the IBAN Number. Here is an example from Expatrio Mango-pay of how the letter should look like.

A blocked account is not the only form of showing your proof of financial means when you are applying for your visa/residence permit in Germany, please see section 1.5 “Required Documents” on our residence permit website for further options.


The information on this website is not legally binding.