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Research Guides


Chinese Immigrants and Chinese–Australians in NSW


Book butts

Certificates of Exemption

The series listed in this section contain book butts of Certificates of Exemption issued to people arriving in Sydney and applying for entry to Australia or applying for extensions to previous certificates. In 1938 and 1939 most of the certificates seem to have been issued on arrival. The certificates granted admittance for a limited period of time and exempted the certificate holder from certain provisions of the Immigration (Restriction) Act. The records in these series are booklets containing multiple copies of receipts or butts from which CEDTs were detached and issued.

Each butt records the number of the CEDT, the State in which it was issued, who it was issued to and the person's name, nationality, age, race and particular marks. Other details were their occupation, their port of arrival, the port they left from, the vessel they travelled in and the date of their arrival. Information about the certificate itself included the period of exemptions, reasons for exemption (eg wartime arrival) and the date of issue. The certificates were issued for a specified time, entitling persons to enter or remain in the Commonwealth without being subject to any of the provisions of the Act that restricted entry into or stay in the Commonwealth. The butts contain information about the persons for whom they were the issued and are sometimes annotated with the advice that the person for whom the certificate was issued had left the country, giving the date and name of the ship. If the person applied for an extension and it was granted, the new certificate number was recorded. Some of the butts from 1951–59 may have been issued by overseas posts prior to the applicant leaving for Australia.

Certificate of exemption book butts, 1938–39
Sydney
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)

This series contains the book butts of certificates issued in 1938–39 for NSW.

Series: SP822/13
Quantity: 0.46 metres
Certificates of exemption – book butts, 1945–50
Sydney
Recorded by: 1945 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–50 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

The certificates are numbered consecutively within each year from 1945/2506 to 1950/29806.

Series: SP343/2
Quantity: 2.7 metres
Certificates of exemption, 1951–59
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

The certificates in this series are numbered consecutively within each year from 1951/1 to 1959/1999.

Series: SP605/7
Quantity: 3.78 metres
Image 5: Certificate of Exemption from the Dictation Test, p. 44

Image 5: Certificate of Exemption from the Dictation Test, p. 44
Enlarge image - View image gallery

Temporary entry

The series listed in this section contain butts of 'Authority to Enter Australia Temporarily' (AEAT) forms. The authority attached to the butt was given to persons entering NSW (mainly the Port of Sydney), probably on presentation of a valid visa, or issued to overseas posts for intending immigrants, if the post delegation did not include the authorisation of entry to Australia.

Each butt records the authority number, date of issue, valid until (date), issued to (name), nationality, race, status (eg, student, occupation, wife of 'X'), number of persons, age and file number.

Authority to enter australia temporarily – book butts, 1953–54
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

These butts are numbered from 1,801 to 2,800 and from A2501 to A2600. A blank copy of the form is attached to form number A2501.

Series: SP343/4
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Authority to enter australia temporarily – book butts, 1952–60
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

These butts are numbered from 401 to 2,900. Some numbers are repeated and there are gaps in numbering.

Series: SP605/9
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Book butts – temporary entry permits, 1959–60
Sydney

This series contains book butts of temporary entry permits (Form M38), which are numbered from 1959/1100 to 1960/3288. The permits were issued to immigrants, tourists, businessmen (many of them Chinese) and authorised holders to enter Australia for specified periods of time or remain here for additional time. The first book contains an example of a cancelled certificate.

Details recorded on the book butts include the permit number and the recipient's name, nationality, race, place and date of birth and date of entry. Other information includes the date of the permit was issued, the period of authorised stay and authorised employment, along with 'remarks' (usually file number).

Series: SP605/1
Quantity: 0.36 metres

Re-entry visas and endorsements

These are triplicate copies of re-entry endorsements and re-entry visas. Re-entry visas were issued to permanent residents, students and some foreign business persons, all leaving Australia by sea or by air, through the Port of Sydney. Re-entry endorsements were issued where special conditions applied regarding the validity of passports, generally for non-Europeans leaving Australia. Conditions, however, varied in each case.

Visa re-entry butts, 1958–63
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains visa re-entry butts. Details recorded on each butt include the number of visa, name of person to whom it was issued, type of visa (eg, re-entry), date of issue and expiry, conditions and periods, special conditions, fee, signature of issuing officer, place of issue, names of dependants, nationality and file number. The butts are filed numerically from 501 to 73,700 (with gaps).

Series: SP605/4
Quantity: 2.52 metres
Re-entry endorsement butts, 1959–63
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains re-entry endorsement butts that record an endorsement number, the type of endorsement (eg, re-entry), date of issue and expiry conditions, period of stay outside Australia and special conditions, signature of issuing officer, position, place of issue, dependants, race and file number. The butts are roughly numerical from 1 to 7 300 (with gaps).

Series: SP605/5
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Register of endorsements, 1937–50
Sydney
Recorded by: 1937–45 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–50 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This volume chronologically records details about the endorsement of applications for travel documents. Each page of the register records the number (of endorsement), date, name, warrant number and remarks (eg 'wife added', 'child added', file cross-reference).

Series: SP1095/5
Quantity: 0.16 metres
Register of passport renewals, 1937–50
Sydney
Recorded by: 1937–45 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–50 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series consists of a register that seems to record the issue of extensions to visas. Entries are arranged chronologically and record the number (of the visa extension), date, name, warrant number and date, and remarks (eg, file number and information on the number of past renewals).

Series: SP1095/6
Quantity: 0.22 metres

Registers of departures – Form 19 ('coloured') departures

These bound registers, which are arranged chronologically, record the date of departure, the name of the ship, its destination, coloured crew (ie, number onboard on arrival and number onboard on departure), European alien crew (as for the coloured crews), the signature of the clearing officer, the Form 19 number, remarks concerning crew, nationality, particulars of emigrants as per Form 19 and remarks concerning passengers.

Outward registers immigration act coloure crews and passengers), ports of Sydney and Newcastle, 1905–37
Sydney
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)

This series consists of registers recording the number of coloured or Asian crew members or passengers entering and departing from Australia at the ports of Sydney and Newcastle between 1905 and 1937. All boats departing from these ports are listed (chronologically by date of departure) and the number of coloured passengers and crew aboard the boats at their arrival and departure is recorded. These registers form a fairly comprehensive listing of boats departing from Sydney and Newcastle during this period.

Series: SP143/3
Quantity: 4.5 metres
Outward register, Immigration Act (coloured crews and passengers), ports of Sydney and Newcastle, c1905–15 SP143/3, volume 1
Outward register, Immigration Act (coloured crews and passengers), ports of Sydney and Newcastle, 1916–20 SP143/3, volume 2
Outward register, Immigration Act (coloured crews and passengers), ports of Sydney and Newcastle, 1920–23 SP143/3, volume 3
Register of Form 19 (inwards and outwards) – advice of departure from Sydney of coloured persons, 1937–54
Sydney

This series consists of chronologically arranged registers that show particulars of crew and passengers. The registers record the date of departure, the name of the ship, its destination, coloured crew (ie, the number onboard on arrival and the number onboard on departure), European alien crew (as for the coloured crew), the signature of the clearing officer, the Form 19 number, remarks about the crew, nationality, particulars as per Form 19 and remarks concerning the passengers.

Series: SP343/1
Quantity: 5.4 metres
Register of Form 19 (coloured) departures, 1940–42 SP343/1, volume 2
Register of Form 19 (coloured) departures, 1942–44 SP343/1, volume 3
Register of form 19 (coloured departures), 1954–56
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series consists of bound registers that list details of departures of coloured individuals from Australia. Details include date of departure, ship, information about the coloured crew and the European alien crew, the signature of the clearing officers and remarks.

Series: SP511/1
Quantity: 1.8 metres

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Chapter 4
Arrivals, Residence and Departures