Welcome to Basel! The first few weeks of your arrival are a hectic time, but one of the first things you will need to do is register yourself at the local municipal authority. Let's get started!
You need to register yourself at the local municipal office within 14 days of your arrival. Basel-Stadt and Basel-Land are separate cantons (splitting in 1833 following political quarrels and armed conflict). As such, there are two registration offices: one for residents Basel-Stadt (including Bettingen and Riehen) and one for residents of Basel-Land (which includes a number of municipalities outlined here).
Basel-Stadt: Spiegelgasse 6, 4051 Basel
Tel. +41 61 267 70 60
Basel-Land: Amt für Migration und Bürgerrecht. Parkstrasse 3, 34402 Frenkendorf
Tel: 061 552 51 61
The registration process is quite bureaucratic and you need a number of documents to complete the process. The City of Basel has a nice document in English listing what you will need depending on where you are coming from and how to go about obtaining the documents or preparing them. You can find it here or as a pdf (First Steps Basel) below.
Once you have your documents ready, it is always good to call to see if you need to schedule an appointment. Usually your permit will be processed in 3-4 weeks, but it can vary from office to office.
When you receive your ID card/permit, it may look different from others that you have seen. This is because there are a number of different permits suited for different purposes. You can find a listing of these permits here or below as a pdf (Permit Types). As a quick brief, though, the categories are as follows:
L - Short-term residence permit (less than one year)
B - Temporary residence permit (1 year or 5 years)
C - Permanent residence permit (5 years)
N - Residence permit during asylum procedure (3 to 6 months)
F - Provisional admittance (1 year - refugees and asylum-seekers)
G - International commuter permit (duration of the contract of employment or 5 years in the case of a permanent contract of employment)
So, go out there and get the ball rolling! If you are unsure of what to do or where to obtain certain documentation, don't hesitate to reach out to another member of the B-Hive or call the municipal office directly and ask (even in English!); they will be able to help and most likely be very friendly! :)