Basel for new arrivals

Are you new to Basel-Stadt? Welcome! Here you will find an overview of key information and offerings in our Canton.


After moving to Basel you will need to register with the Residents’ Registration Office. All of the information required can be found on our page registration / deregistration & moving.

Information sessions

Basel-Stadt organises a number of information sessions to help newcomers settle into their new home. You can find details of these events on the website of the department of diversity and integration.



1. I am looking for a daycare place for my child. Who can advise me?

You will find a centrally located contact point for families at Freien Strasse 35. The information desk, the daycare centres and parent counselling agency are open daily from 09.00 – 12.00. No registration is necessary. Here you will be able to obtain all the information you need about childcare in daycare centres or in daycare families as well as support in your search for a suitable place.

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2. I work in Switzerland. My family still lives abroad. Can I make a request for family reunification?

In principle it is possible for family members (direct relatives or spouse) of persons living in Switzerland to move here (family reunification). The applicant’s nationality and residence status determine who (which family members) may request family reunification. You can find further information on our website “entry and residence”.

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3. Where can I find the right German course?

You will find an overview of German courses in the region on the website German courses.

If you require support in your language of origin, you can contact GGG Migration by telephone on 061 206 92 22 to make an appointment for a free consultation (in 13 languages).

The Canton of Basel-Stadt finances a free German course of 80 lessons for newly arrived migrants in the first twelve months of their long-term stay. A personalised voucher will be given during the welcome talk at the Residents’ Registration Office. It can be redeemed at a certified and cantonally recognised language school.

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While visiting our residence registration office, Swiss citizens abroad will also be entitled to a free German course (80 lessons) if they fulfill the following criteria cumulatively (from March 1, 2020):

  • age of majority;
  • their English skills are less than level B2;
  • date of moving  to Kanton Basel-Stadt is March 1 2020 onwards;
  • their stay was at least one year abroad.

The entitlement is valid during the first year of their stay in Kanton Basel-Stadt.

4. As a foreign national do I need to pay taxes in Switzerland?

Foreign nationals without a permanent residence permit (permit C) who work in the Canton of Basel-Stadt normally pay withholding tax. This tax is deducted directly from their salary. Persons married to a Swiss national or holding a permanent residence permit (permit C) are exempt from withholding tax. Subsequent ordinary taxation remains reserved.

Economically inactive persons from abroad who are take up tax residency in the Canton of Basel-Stadt have the right to pay a lump-sum tax instead of ordinary taxation (for the year of their arrival). 

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5. Where can I register my child for school?

School-aged children who have recently arrived in Basel can be registered with a school following a telephone appointment. These documents are required:

  • Child's official identification
  • Family book, residence permit for parents and the child
  • School certificates

To register, please contact the office specified on the education department’s homepage (listed by children’s age.)

You can find further information on the school system in the Canton of Basel-Stadt here

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