Changing from Frontalier to living in Basel

I am considering changing from being a Frontalier living on the French side of the border for many years to living in Switzerland. I am just trying to get my head around some of the changes and wondered if someone could offer input.

I work in Zurich so pay tax currently at source. I have 17 year old child in tow as well, who only has a British passport with French residency status, i have dual nationality EU and British.

The main change would be for her, and I would like to know what rights and what permit she would get still being a minor, would she be able to enter the swiss school system at 17? She was at school abroad until and abrupt halt due to war in that country, and is adamant she does not want to return to French school as she has dyslexia and has always struggled. If she wanted to get a job, could she with her British passport?

On the move so just some ideas/thoughts.

If you do move you need indeed do it before she turns 18. Once she is no longer a minor she won't get a permit.

At 17 she is past mandatory schooling so she most probably could not enter the Swiss school system.

Maybe talk to the educational department in Basel. Maybe they can help.

Maybe look at a french speaking canton if she does not speak German.

Look into the apprenticeship system in Switzerland. If she speaks French this might work.

If she is not in school or in an apprenticeship once she is 18 she might need to leave. She can't work as a British.

Can"t you get her a European passport?

Using your EU passport it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to get her a family reunification permit. However, normal Swiss school ends at 16 iirc so it would be either university. an apprenticeship or a job. If however, she only speaks French then she’s going to struggle to do anything in the German speaking part of Switzerland whether it’s work or study.

As an EU national you will be able to bring your daughter with you under family reunification until she turns 21 (it would be 18 for non EU citizens).

The schooling etc will be a bit more difficult if she only speaks French (and presumably English) and you’ll be living in a German speaking canton.

AFAIK as long as she is considered to be your dependent she can keep her permit but long term she will need to either get a job or apprenticeship or continue studies.

Bad change if it’s for your daughter. She’ll not get into Swiss school and she’ll have no pre-Brexit rights.

What languages does she speak? Can you pass on your EU citizenship to her?

I’d say better to stay in France and send her to boarding school and uni in UK/Ireland.

Thanks, she does speak some German, albeit intermediate, she can communicate and of course French & English. So she would potentially be able to work then if she moved over with me to Switzerland. Would she get a B permit for example, do you know?

She’d get the same permit as you so if you get a B so will she. With a permit in place she’ll be able to look for a jib or an apprenticeship or study just the same as any other permit holder.

14-15 in most cases.

Apprenticeship is no problem, but she would need to be reasonably fluent in the local language.


I’d say 15-16 in the majority of cases, it’s quite rare to finish obligatory schooling at 14.

One of my daughters did, as her birthday is in November.

The other at 15, as her birthday is in March.


But we all know Ticino is different.

The other cantons follow the August/September to July school year calendar where a November birthday makes you one of the oldest in the class so the chances of finishing obligatory schooling at 14 are pretty slim.

Thankfully we are not as backwards as the northerners.


Not all, Grigioni does not!

“I bambini, che compiono il quinto i, anno d’età
entro il 31 dicembre, accedono alla scuola dell’infanzia
/al ciclo I all’inizio dell’anno scolastico del
medesimo anno civile.”…final-ital.pdf


If your daughter wants to go toward life sciences/pharma, and assuming native speaking skills, Basel is the easiest and best match. Problem could be that some require German. If she isn't interested in sciences, do you have flexibility of cantons? You could consider bilingual areas with a commuting distance similar to Basel - Zurich for you, such as Biel and Bern which also allow your daughter to stay within a French speaking environment for ease of finding an apprenticeship or higher education.

It would be nice if mods abstained from personal attacks. Last time I checked they're against forum rules, something which mods are expected to uphold.

But then again, maybe your claim is that you're something else?

There is nothing attacking in BM's post. It's a fact that many things are different in Ticino. Tom regularly points that out himself. If one wants to stretch to look for "attacks", the closest I could get is Tom calling the rest of us backwards northerners. But it's not directed at one person, and Tom legit thinks we're all backwards up here!

I have literally no idea what you’re talking about.

I'm decently sure all the apprenticeships for lab technicians in Basel require fluency in German. The apprentices need to attend school (Berufsfachschule) and there, they are taught in German. Even the biology Bachelor's degree at Uni Basel is taught in German. Master's degree and up is were English is mandatory.