Croatian Diaspora in the Netherlands

Number of Croats in the Netherlands and their immigration

It is estimated that there are about 10 000 Croats and their descendants living in the Netherlands. A large number immigrated during and after Croatian War of Independence, especially from Bosnia and Herzegovina.Croats who moved to the Netherlands even earlier due to economic reasons are well respected citizens.
Croats settled mostly in the areas of industrial cities as the employment opportunities were good. So, majority of Croats live in the urban area of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina came as refugees and settled mostly in the area of Arnhem.

Status of Croats in the Netherlands

There are no special laws on rights and responsibilities of immigrants. All foreign nationals in the Netherlands are guaranteed the same legal and social status as other citizens of the Netherlands.
There are laws in force that regulate immigration process, acquisition of citizenship, as well as temporary and permanent residence and asylum.
Dutch citizenship may be acquired upon completion of five- year period of residency. Language competence is also required. Spouses of Dutch citizens who are foreigners may apply for citizenship after three years of marriage on condition that they speak Dutch language.
There is no possibility of dual citizenship (a child born abroad who has Dutch citizenship but acquires citizenship of the country of birth, has to decide which citizenship to keep when they come of age). 
It is important to know that Croatia and the Netherlands have mutual Agreement on social security.

Croatian associations and Catholic Missions

Croatian associations in the Netherlands cherish Croatian cultural heritage, folklore and choir singing but some of them are political organizations.  The following associations should be singled out: Rijnmond Rotterdam, „Zaklada HR mladež NL“  Also in Rotterdam there is Croatian Catholic parish St Nikola Tavelić and St Antun Padovanski as well as  the choir “Carmina Croata“  within the parish.

Croatian classes and courses of Croatian language

Croatian classes are organized according to the curriculum of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia. The classes for about 100 pupils are held by two teachers in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Arnhem and the Hague.
Croatian language and literature are taught at the University of Amsterdam as an independent study course at the Department „Slavische talen en culturen“– Slavic languages and culture (the course is not within the competence of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education).
At the University of Groningen, Croatian language is taught as an elective course and all the students from the University can choose it. Within the Department of Slavic languages at Leiden university the courses of the Croatian language were held, but they stopped when the professor retired. Department for Croatian and Serbian language at Utrecht University was closed in the eighties. At Public Open University Rotterdam official courses of Croatian language are held regularly.
Publishing and Media

Netherlands- Croatian Foundation periodically publishes its newspapers.