Useful to know
Facilities for the disabled
Basel-Stadt takes great care to provide satisfactory facilities for the disabled. The Canton operates its bus and tram network with low-floor, wheelchair-accessible vehicles and has developed a set of guiding principles for adult disabled people that has been drawn up in close collaboratuion with disabled people and their organisations from both the private and cantonal side. Equal opportunities is the guiding principle of all policies in Basel.
As a rule, all prices in restaurants, bars, taxis as well as for other services include a service charge. However, a tip is always welcome and quite customary.
In Switzerland, smoking is not permitted in most public buildings. Smoking is also no longer allowed in restaurants and bars. Some restaurants offer special smokers’ rooms.
Speed limits, alcohol limit
Standard speed limits are 50 kph in built-up areas, 80 kph on country roads and 120 kph on motorways. A special speed limit of 30 kph is being introduced in an increasing number of residential districts. The alcohol limit for drivers is 0.5 o/oo.
The "Grenzgängerbewilligung G" (international commuters permit class G) plays an important role in Basel-Stadt. Over 30'000 of these permits are currently issued to residents of Germany or France working in Switzerland. They are issued for 5-year periods, and include a residence permit (upon request) as well as the option of living in Basel during the week. Withholding tax will be retained.
Nannies, au pairs, babysitters
In the case of nannies who have been working with a family for a long time, the family in question may apply for a corresponding "Aufenthaltsbewilligung B" (residence permit class B). Permits for au pairs will only be issued if they come from EU/EFTA countries, the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. Au pairs should work no more than 30 hours a week and should not be home alone all day. They must be able to attend language classes. Therefore, no approvals for au pairs are issued if the applicants have no children, if both spouses are in full-time employment, if the applicants work in the hotel/catering sector or run a retail enterprise.
Babysitters or housekeepers can be found through the usual channels. When appointing domestic staff, however, it is important for employers to provide accident insurance cover and to register these individuals with the "AHV office" (Old Age and Survivors Insurance).
Individuals who wish to apply for naturalisation must be able to prove that they have lived in Switzerland for at least 12 years, with the last 5 in Basel-Stadt without interruption, and at least three years of these in the respective municipality. (Basel-Stadt, Riehen, Bettingen). An interview is conducted to ascertain whether the applicant has the required language skills and knowledge of Swiss culture and traditions. Foreigners married to a Swiss citizen may apply for fast-track naturalisation. They must have lived in Switzerland for 5 years, been married 3 years and have lived one year in the town in which they apply for naturalisation.
Types of residence permits
Asylum permit N
Permit for short stays L
International commuter permit G
Residence permit B
Permanent residence permit C