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Research Guides


Chinese Immigrants and Chinese–Australians in NSW


Appendix 1 – Glossary of Immigration and National Security terms

alien

Term relating to a person residing in Australia, born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalisation and is not entitled to the political rights, powers and privileges of a citizen.

Under the Aliens Registration Act 1920–1939 and the Aliens Act 1947, an 'alien' was defined as 'any person over the age of sixteen years, other than a natural-born or naturalised British subject'.

Certificate of Domicile

Under the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, any person domiciled in the Commonwealth of Australia who wished to leave temporarily could apply to the Collector of Customs at the port of departure for a Certificate of Domicile. Holders of these certificates were permitted to re-enter the country without being required to sit the dictation test. Certificates of Domicile were replaced by Certificates of Exemption from the Dictation Test (CEDTs).

Certificate of Exemption

Certificates of Exemption were introduced by the Immigration Restriction Act 1901. The 'exemption' referred to is exemption from the dictation test. Certificates of Exemption were issued to both Europeans and non-Europeans entering Australia temporarily. The certificates were a form of entry visa or permit. Issue of the certificates ceased in 1958 with the abolition of the dictation test.

Certificate of Exemption from the Dictation Test

Certificates of Exemption from the Dictation Test were introduced as a result of 1905 amendments to the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, replacing Certificates of Domicile. Like the Certificates of Domicile, they were essentially re-entry permits, allowing holders of the certificates to re-enter the country without being required to sit the dictation test. Issue of the certificates ceased in 1958 with the abolition of the dictation test.

citizen

A member, native or naturalised, of a state or nation, owing allegiance to a government and entitled to its protection.

citizenship

Having the status of a citizen, by birth or declaration of allegiance, of a state or nation with entitlement to full political rights and privileges.

dictation test

Under the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, non-Europeans intending to enter Australia could be required to write out a dictated passage, not less than fifty words in length, in any European (after 1905, any 'prescribed') language. Those who failed to correctly write out the dictated passage could be refused entry.

internee

Term referring to any person detained in an internment camp under National Security Act regulations. Internees were not prisoners-of-war.

naturalisation

The admittance of 'aliens' to the status and rights of citizenship, allowing them to enjoy the political rights and privileges of native-born subjects.

In the nineteenth century, the Australian colonies passed legislation enabling people to be naturalised according to the provisions of the current English law. After 1903 the passing of legislation relating to naturalisation and the right to confer citizenship became a Commonwealth government responsibility. The Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 created the status of Australian citizenship. Prior to the passing of this Act, natural-born British subjects and persons naturalised in the United Kingdom had been entitled to citizenship status in Australia.

substitutes

Persons permitted entry as replacement workers for domiciled persons travelling overseas for extensive periods of time. Requests were considered on the basis of the type of business activity conducted by the applicant leaving Australia, with preference given to those engaged in overseas trade.


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