The next day after my arrival, I needed to manage all important issues related to my stay. I went with one of Basel’s AIESEC members and she was really very helpful and everything went much easier and faster than if I would go alone – especially because I don’t speak German. Well, I can understand a bit, but not on sufficient level to be able do this.
First of all, we went to the migration office to get living and working permit. Queue for administering living/working permits was the slowest one. Initially I got 6 pages long form to fill in and declaration that I’m not a criminal as additional form. Then we proceed to private office to settle up rest of this process. Migration office-worker checked my contract for working and accommodation and made temporary permission, “permanent” permission for my internship duration came in a week by mail. Arrange this permit took about an hour. This permit is the most important, everything depended on this one and the temporary one was very important too. Temporary permission costs 25 CHF and “permanent” more 65 CHF, plus 1 CHF for postage.
Then we went to buy public transport subscription. It was quick and because of I’m Basel’s resident, I’ve got price for locals, which is cheaper than people outside Basel. It cost “only” 73 CHF per month and I paid for my whole stay, therefore 426 CHF in total. In the migration office, I’ve got welcome package which the young woman from AIESEC quickly read through searching for discount coupons and there was one for 30 CHF discount on public transport. It’s “just” 396 CHF till the end of year 2014.
Next step was opening a bank account. I pre-chose two local banks: Basler Kantonalbank and UBS. These two we selected because they have probably the cheapest fees. Mentioned Basler Kantonalbank denied my request for opening because of my living permit type, I would have to have different kind. There were more helpful at the UBS and I opened my account there without any problem. They only requested signed declaration that I have no connection with the USA, didn’t stay there longer than a year and several other questions. Due to the fact I never left Europe, I had no problem, otherwise I would have to go to different office and process of opening my account would be more complicated. Our session in the bank was really pleasant and I was really positively surprised, how they deal with their clients. I already got server letters by mail and even one package. I received debit card with quite long PIN, card reader and access card for internet banking – nice, it looks like better solution than sending SMS messages like in Czech Republic.
At this point, we already arranged everything important and “AIESEC girl” left me, because she had to study for exams. I went to the last authority by myself – I needed parking card. Parking in Basel is not like in Pilsen. Here are almost everywhere blue parking zones for residents. I was looking for parking garages, prices are from 195 CHF per month and even in my building are garages, but price is I guess 170 CHF per month. Parking in residential blue zones is from my point of view very cheap, just 10 CHF per month. Issue of a parking card is for 20 CHF.
So I went to the office of Motor vehicles. Some lady told me, parking card for my car is not a problem, but I need to go to the Swiss boarder and get clear my car through. I went back to my hotel to find closes boarders and went to Grenzacherhorn by car. Whole process was very simple, I explained what I need, officer was typing something to his computer for almost half an hour, then I paid 25 CHF and I’ve finally got the right paper. I drove back to my hotel and returned back for parking card. Now, it was no problem and I finally got my parking card. It’s not my concern, but it’s not so easy to drive car registered outside Switzerland. I can drive it here for a year, then I have to get temporary Swiss number plates for at most one other year and it’s obligatory to register your car in Switzerland after two years. By the way, it’s necessary to return the document, which I came here by car at the douane, when I leave Switzerland, otherwise they would expect that the car is still here in Switzerland and want to pay for it.
Luckily, when I went to Grenzacherhorn boarder, I found very cheap Aldi for shopping, which is easily accessible by car and by public transport from Basel. I’ve been there several times for shopping. Prices are sometimes even cheaper than in the Czech Republic, but taste seems to be better.
When I finally came close to my hotel, I actually bought Swiss SIM card. I chose pre-paid Lycamobile because they had cheapest mobile data bundles – 500 MB with validity of 30 days for just 6.50 CHF. Even pre-paid SIM card in Switzerland must to be registered on name, so saleslady at kiosk called somewhere and handed over her phone to finish registration. Unfortunately there was quite noisy on the street and operator on the phone spoke something between German, French and something else, so I understood very badly. After a while, I returned the phone to complete registration by the saleslady and she completed the registration by herself. SIM card is working, registration was therefore successful.
I have to say, everyone at each office was pleasant, spoke English probably better than I and everyone was helpful. I got great impression.