Today, I entered an embassy for the first time in my life. I was today in the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Amman for the legalisation of my signature in the application for a closed bank account from the Deutsche Bank.
It was a magnificent experience as I felt myself to be on the soil of one of the greatest country on earth. However, I felt a bit afraid in front of the security measures that I found. More importantly, the few negative comments in the Facebook groups about medical specialty in Germany were bothering me a lot as I saw the employee who was to take my papers. I remembered the comments that talked how the acceptance of your application would depend on the “opinion” of the employee who will receive it. Moreover, the fact that the employee sat in a room that was on a higher level than the waiting room and behind a large window protected probably by bullet-proof glass also helped to increase the sense of fear in me. “Why are you afraid? We do not frighten!” With a big smile on her face, the female employee said as I was signing my application. Apparently, my fingers were shaking as I slid the documents in a special box, which was is apparently bullet-proof also, below the window. I can recall at least five times of having this shaking that I am not aware of. It is not that I was afraid but it is the stress of knowing that you could be making a mistake with grave consequences. In the previous times, however, I was in front of a large audience. This time, however, only one employee was enough to cause me this trembling in the setting of the waiting room in the German embassy!
Anyhow, contrary to my fears, the procedure went very fine. The employee was very nice, and in the few seconds that I could look in his face, even the German consult seemed nice too. So what are the steps I went through before having the above experience:
1) Based on the Arabic instructions in a post in the Blog of Dr. Feras Obeidat, I downloaded an application from the Website of the Deutsche Bank for a closed bank account for those 18 years of age and above.
Source: Website of the Deutsche Bank, link.
- Information about the Closed Bank Account and Frequently asked quesetions about it from the website of the Deutsche Ban, link.
I filled the application on computer and then printed two balck and white copies of it (colored copies are not a must as I heard. The printing costs at least 0.3 JD/page). The first two pages of the PDF application are for your own use and neither the embassy nor the bank want them. The second copy of the application will not be required neither by the bank nor by the embassy. However, you are to print two copies.
According to the application, the form need to be “exclusively filled on PC” NOT manually. This is how I filled the bank form:
How much money to deposit?
In page five of the PDF document, page 3 the application, for one year you need to deposit 8,040.00 Euro. Divide this by 12 = 670 Euro per month. Therfore, multiple the number of times you like to stay X 670 euro. For example, four months = 4 * 670 = 2,680.00 Euro, six months = 4,020.00 Euro. When the bank send you your account information and later you want to deposit the money, then deposit an excess amount because the bank will take fees from you for opening the account (they might be 50 Euro). I do not know how much excess need to be deposited. To be on the safe side, however, I read that 200.00 Euro are more than enough. Therefore bringing the total that you will deposit in the case of four months to 2,689.00+200.00 = 2,889.0 Euro, and in the case of seven months to 4,020.00+200.00 = 4,220.00 Euro. Any excess money more than that required for the number of months of your staying in Germany (and specified to be blocked) can be available for withdrawl once you arrive in Germany and activate your account.
Concerning the “Address supplement (e.g. c/o)” point:
I asked many people and they told me different opinions. They told me to write my postal code there. However, this did not convince me. I searched the interent and found that (c/o) stands for care of لعناية. Therefore, I wrote in this field: c/o my name. (e.g., c/o Tom Hanks, c/o Angelina Jolie).
If you like to read more details about what c/o means: https://www.google.de/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=c%2Fo+what+does+it+mean&gws_rd=ssl
2) I reserved an appointment in the website of the German embassy here in Amman for:
Official legalisation of your signature/Certification of copies المصادقة على التواقيع
– You need to do this step at least 4-8 weeks before your desired application date. For example, I have just checked the online registration system and the earliest available appointment is about 40 days from now (on 14.08.2014). The reason might be that the legalisation of signatures takes place only on Thursdays. If you follow the online registration system, some appointments might sporadically become available when people withdraw from their appointments. According to an employee in the embassy, the publication of new freely available positions takes place in the morning between 08:00-08:30 and 10:00-12:00. However, I tried this myself last week and it did not work. The good news, however, is that the online registration system stopped allowing empty appointments to appear immediately after someone withdraws from them. Some people exploited this feature to start mass reservations of appointments to sell them later on. With the new system, I hope that this will stop as I heard that these companies demand prices of at least 100 JD for a simple appointment like legalisation of your signature.
3) I had my passport and a copy of it with me. The copy was not colored and it was not legalised. This is very important as I had thought that it is an advantage that the copy is legalised. They asked a person before me to go and make a new copy because he only had a legalised copy.
4) I arrived today at the embassy about two minutes before my appointment. Two guards in front of the embassy asked me for my name and then use their walkie-talkie to ask if my name is “on the list”. They did not even ask me for the printed email that the embassy had sent for me. This is expected as anyone can change an appointment email to add whatever date he likes. After the employee from inside confirmed my name, one of the guards accompanied me to the front door of the embassy. He checked a bag that I have and, after seeing a tablet, he told me that they need to keep it along with my mobile phone. I do not know if this is because of the tablet but I did not see that any of the other applicants with me carrying a bag. The guard told me to take only whatever papers I need. I did that happily and left my bag outside, with my mobile phone and tablet within it. I entered inside at about 11:05 AM. A Jordanian guard was sitting in the waiting room and he welcomed me and gave me a waiting number. I was the only one in the waiting room and I could see an employee behind the huge aforementioned glass window. Within 15 minutes, I was called. The employee spoke perfect Arabic although she looked German. Probably she is born in Jordan to a German mother. She asked me if I had filled and signed the application. “Am I not supposed to sign the application with an employee seeing that?” I thought but did not want to cause myself any troubles so I immediately signed the application like a little child responding quickly to the requests of his strong father. Later on, as the second applicant told her that he had not signed his application, the employee told him and the others applicants in the room, who were then sitting, to sign their application. Back to me, quickly after I signed the my bank application, the employee asked me to put the signed bank application, the copy of the passport and fees of 30 JD in a black box that she controlled from behind the glass. After the employee withdrew the box and quickly checked my documents, she asked me to sit down and wait. This whole process did not take more than one to two minutes.
The total applicants increased only to four. We all waited till the last one of us handled his application. After a total period of waiting of between 30-40 minutes, I heard that the consul arrived. We were then called one after another by the employee who was then standing very respectfully beside the German consul. Her posture and body langauge reminds me of myself during medical school as I summarized a patient’s case to my supervising doctor with all of my being very tense and alert. The German consult was typical German being tall, well-built and blond. You would not doubt that he is not German. The employee asked each applicant: “Do you speak German?” (I cannot remember the language in which she asked, but it was probably German. I am sure of that for me and another applicants). After that, the consult signed on a special stamp that was placed on the bank application. Next, he showed the copy of the passport to the applicant and asked: “Is this a copy of your passport?”. After the applicant answered with yes, he signed also on a special stamp that was placed on the back of the passport’s copy. The papers were then passed to the applicant along with two cheques of the payment, which we were asked to keep and not to send to the bank in Germany. This was all and this last step took me less than one minute. Finally, I walked out of the German at about 12:00 PM.
What company did I use to send the papers to Germany?
I was told of two quick options: DHL and TNT. There is also the option of the Jordanian Mail Company. They have quick mail and slow mail. I inquired only about the quick and it only costs three JD but require two weeks to arrive (not very sure). Regarding the other companies:
1) DHL: Cost is 45 JD and the package will arrive on Monday or Tuesday (cannot remember). If you paid extra nine JD, the employee told me that they assure that the package will arrive before 12 AM. If it did not, then they will pay me all of my money back (54 JD). I was told on the phone to come to their offices on the seventh circle [Map and telephone number in Jeeran’s website here]. Nonetheless, the employee told me that an employee can come to me wherever I am in Amman and take the papers from me for free.
2) TNT: The cost is only 25 JD. The difference is 45 JD from DHL so I definitely used them since this company was also recommended by my friend. I was told by the employee that the package will arrive within four business days. She did not explain if Friday or Saturday are business days and I did not care to ask as the 20 JD difference was very big and I had already asked her many questions. The main advantage of this is that the office of TNT is less than a five-minute-walk from the German embassy. Here are the directions from Google maps.
Which address of the bank did I send my application to?
Based on the experience of some of my friends, I sent the application to the address of the bank in Hamburg. This address is present in the blog of Dr. Feras Obeidat (in the previously mentioned post). This address is different from the address that is present inside the application PDF. However, according to my friends, the Deutsche Bank responds faster when you send your application to this branch. Here is a screenshot of the address from Dr. Obeidat’s blog. I downloaded it on my tablet and the TNT employee copied it today:
Using the tracking code that I got from the TNT company, which the employee wrote on my receipt voucher, I could track where the my package (that contains the application and the copy of my passport) now is. This service is available through TNT Jordan’s website (link). The site says that the expected delivery time is on 07/07/2014. Will it arrive by that day? We will see.
The package arrived on the specified day (03/07/2014). However, in the afternoon at 14:54. I remember that DHL told me that if I paid nine JD extra to the 45 JD, then they guarantee that the pacakage will arrive before 12:00. If not, then they will give me back my money. A doctor whom I met in the embassy and who sent the papers to the address in the application form (In Leipzig) told me that the package arrived at 10:10.
Less than half an hour ago, I received my account information. I read in the FAQs that this means that I can now send the money to them in Germany.
I sent the money to my account in Germany last Saturday. I went to Down Town Amman and searched for the cheapest exchange shop to send money to Germany. The shops asked for money ranging from 20-50 JDs. However, I was amazed when I was told by Musharbsh Exchange Company )(مشربش للصرافة)that they charge only 20 USD (US Dollars). With no hesitation, I chose them as they are famous and have more than eight branches in Jordan. I went to their branch in Sweileh. Before that, I called their main branch and incquired about the fees. I was told again that they are only 20 USD. However, in Sweileh, the employee told me that the fees are 35 USD. When I told him about the downtown branch and that I had called the main branch and all said 20 USD, he made a phone call and then immediately said that 20 USD are enough.
- Location and contact info of Downtown branch: http://jo.jeeran.com/p/musharbash-exchange-amman/ (phone: 0096264628028)
- Main branch: 0096265544400
To be able to send the money, you need:
1) Your bank account information: The confirmation email sent to you by the bank contains all of this information. I stored it on my tablet and gave it to the employee.
3) This is very important: You need to bring an evidence of where you brought the money. In my case, I told them that I will draw the money from the bank and they told me to bring the withdrawl paper ورقة سحب المصاري of that from the bank. In the Housing Bank (City Mall’s branch), they refused to give me an original paper of withdrwal and gave me a copy of it. In the exchange shop, they made a copy of this copy صوروا نسخة عن ورقة سحب المصاري. I should have gave them the copy from the bank because the new copy was not clear and I was asked to go back to the them two days latter. To solve this problem, I went to the bank again and asked for a report of my account كشف حساب that was later signed by the branch manager. That worked 100% but caused me delays of three days. I received the confirmation email from the Deutsche Bank today, Thursday, at 2:4