Croats began to settle in Austria in the mid-60s. However, bigger arrivals began during the 70s and 80s of the 20th century, mostly from Croats looking for work. The third big wave of arrivals occurred in the 1990s. According to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics, during that period 94,000 Croats immigrated to Austria. Countries of immigration were then mainly Austria, Germany, Switzerland and overseas countries. The causes of this big immigration wave were the war in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Based on the collected data it can be assumed that there are about 90,000 Croats living in Austria. Their overall number can be broken down according to the following federal states and regions: Vienna 35,000; Lower Austria 6,000; Upper Austria 12,000; Salzburg 6,000; Tirol, 5,600; Vorarlberg 5,000; Carinthia 5.000; Styria 14,000; Burgenland 1.000 Croats .
Status of Croats in Austria
The legal status of Croats in Austria i.e., the legislation regulating their conditions, is based on the law amendments on the foreigners and their employment in Austria, which entered into force in January 2003. By this amendment to the Law on the Aliens, Austria stressed the need for the arrival of "crucial labor force", that is to say, on hiring experts who can prove in advance to have a secure job and a monthly income. In 2005 the government of Austria adopted a new law on citizenship. These new law amendments stipulate restrictive provisions on citizenship acquisition. Thus, along with the obligation of taking both the written and oral examination in the German language, the applicant must submit a certificate of good conduct and no criminal record, and a proof of secured income over the past three years of his residence in Austria.
Croatian Association and Catholic Missions
Croatian Associations in Austria are focused on cultural events aimed at the preservation of traditional music, language and customs of different regions of Croatia. In Austria there is a large number of Croatian associations the most important being: the Austrian-Croatian Community for Culture and Sport, based in Vienna; the AHKU "ANNO 93" , Vienna, the HKD, "Napredak"; The Croatian World Congress; "the Zagreb Club" and the HKU "Salzburg.”
Major role in the preservation of Croatian national identity is played by the Croatian Catholic missions in Austria, based in Vienna, St. Pölten, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Feldkirch, Graz and Klagenfurt.
Croatian classes and programs in the Croatian language
Classes of the Croatian language is under the jurisdiction of the Austrian educational authorities (the so- called integral type of classes), although the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport of the Republic of Croatia provides funds for the two teachers: one teacher who is based at a Catholic Mission in Linz, teaching classes for about 120 students, and another one teaching at the Croatian Children School in Vienna for 130 students at three different educational locations.
Exchange programs for the Croatian language and literature is in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport of the Republic of Croatia.
Croatian Language and Literature programs, which are not under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and Sport of the Republic of Croatia.
- University of Vienna, University of Innsbruck
- University of Klagenfurt
-- the Institute for Slavic Studies, Salzburg.
Publishing and Media
From the Croat expatriate press one can single out in Vienna "Bečki glasnik", a magazine of the Vienna Foundation for integration. Croatian immigrant associations have no newspapers of their own, except in Upper Austria, where the Association of Croats launched a magazine called "Baština". Once a week the Austrian Television (ORF 2) broadcast a half-hour program for foreigners "Heimat, Fremde Heimat", which occasionally broadcasts contributions in the Croatian language (depending on events within the Croatian community).