Even though the majority of universities in Germany carry no tuition fees and most German cities are not too expensive to live in, authorities still want to know if you have enough financial resources to study and live in Germany, at least for the first year of your studies, in order to issue you a German student visa and residence permit.
Under current estimations of the official student loans and scholarships regulator in Germany, Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, a foreign student needs €853 per month or €10,236 per year at minimum to be able to live in the country.
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Who needs to provide proof of financial resources?
Basically, everyone who needs a visa to enter Germany must submit proof of financial resources known as “Finanzierungsnachweis” when applying for a visa at the German embassy, as shown in the table below.
|Your country of origin||Do you need to submit Proof of Financial Resources?|
|Citizens of EU Countries (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein)||NO.|
|Citizens of Non-EU Countries that need a visa to come to Germany||YES, when applying for a student visa.|
|Citizens of Australia, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of South Korea, the United States of America||YES, when applying for a residence permit.|
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How can I prove my financial resources to study in Germany?
There are several ways you can prove you have the required financial resources to fund your living costs in Germany. Here are some of the most common ways you can show your financial eligibility to study in Germany:
- Depositing money into a German blocked account
- Submitting a document of your parents’ income and financial assets
- You can show a scholarship award document by a recognized body in Germany
- A bank guarantee
- A permanent resident person in Germany can guarantee to cover all your expenses
Important Note: The whole process of showing a proof of financial resources to study in Germany may sometimes be different based on your personal case and the country you come from. Depending on your situation, German institutions may request further proof relating to your financial resources.
German Blocked Account
To date, a blocked account is the most widely used method among international students in Germany to prove their financial resources. A blocked account is a special type of bank account designed to serve international students as an account where they can deposit money required to live in Germany.
It is regarded as a blocked account because you won’t have access to it until you arrive in Germany. Even after your arrival, you won’t have direct access to it. The blocked account provider will help you open a regular bank account where they will transfer your money every month. With a blocked account the German institutions are ensured that everything goes through their hands.
How much money do you need to have in your blocked account?
The amount of money you need to have while residing in Germany is set by the Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (abbreviated as BAföG). The BAföG is a regulator of grants and loans for students in Germany.
At the moment, the amount of money they have set as required to study in Germany is 853€ per month or 10,236€ per year. Although, many students often choose to deposit more than the minimum amount required to increase their chances of getting their student visa approved.
If your parents earn enough to cover your education in Germany then you can use their income as a proof of financial resources when applying for a student visa at the German embassy.
Usually, the embassy may request you to show a bank statement of your parents’ wage, at least for the past three months from the time you apply for a student visa. Additionally, they may want to see a copy of the employment contract of your parents to be ensured you have proper fundings to attend the university in Germany.
If you win a scholarship in your home country which equates the required funds to study in Germany you can use it as proof of financial resources in the student visa application process. But before adding it to your student visa application paperwork you must get a document that proves you won a scholarship by a recognized provider.
For this purpose, you can request information at the German embassy and they will explain to you what type of document you need to submit to authenticate the source of your scholarship.
A bank guarantee
A bank loan can also be used as a proof of financial resources to get your student visa at the German embassy. There are many banks in different countries of the world, particularly in places where the number of students coming to study in Germany is higher, which offer attractive student loans for students with no to a lower interest rate.
To use this loan as a proof of your funds, you must get a bank guarantee under which the bank guarantees they will pay all of your financial obligations during the time you’ll study and live in Germany.
A permanent resident in Germany can fund your education
Another way you can prove to have required financial means to study in Germany is if there’s a German resident (indeed, not necessarily a relative of yours) ready to fund your education.
In this situation, the German embassy most likely will ask that person to show a statement of his income to assure he has required financial resources to support you. If the person is not your relative, but a German resident who’s willing to cover the cost of studying in Germany the German embassy may require a document which displays the conditions and terms of your agreement.
The source of funds and additional proof
Here are some of the most common situations, where you may be required to show additional proof of your finances:
A contract with a commercial business
If there’s a commercial business in your home country that guarantees to take care of your finances, the officials in Germany may require specific information about that company.
For example, they may require a document that proves that the company is not fake. Or if you and that company have signed a contract to cover your finances, the relevant institution in Germany has the right to know the conditions and terms of that deal.
Scholarship won in your country
If you won a scholarship in your home country the German institution normally wants to know about the credibility of the scholarship provider.
Source of the funds in your bank account
If you deposit a large amount of money in your bank account the German institution may want to know the source. For example, you may have been working for years at a full-time job and saved the money for your studies.
To prove this you can present a long-term contract of your job contract and also a report of your bank deposits. This is how you can guarantee that those are your money and therefore you can afford to live in Germany.
When to submit a proof of financial resources in Germany?
A common misunderstanding international students often have is at what stage they need to show proof of their resources. Many of them are afraid they cannot submit a university application without presenting their financial status. So they spend time worrying about how to collect the required money and at the end may end up late in the upcoming admission fall.
That’s wrong. Your financial status is not an admission requirement. You can freely apply at the University of your choice and after receiving their admission letter you can move on to the other stages.
After that, the procedure of getting a student visa and residing in Germany will require you to show a track of your financial resources. What they’re interested to know is if you have sufficient funds to cover all living expenses for the duration of your studies.
Where can I seek further information?
If you have more specific questions throughout the process, your first relevant addresses should be the following offices:
- The German consulate located in your home country.
- The Foreigners’ Office in the German city where you settle in.