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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Alien registration

The threat posed by world wars during the 20th century twice caused the Commonwealth Government to require all 'aliens' to register with local authorities. All aliens entering or residing in Australia had to be registered and report all changes of name, address, job or marital status.

Alien registration was required between 1916 and 1926, and again between 1939 and 1971. Alien registration forms may include information on the mode and date of arrival in Australia, date and place of birth, occupation, marital status, physical description or photograph, and address.

Not all individual alien registration records from South Australia (1916–24) are held by the Archives. Many were recycled during paper shortages or destroyed by the agency. If the person moved interstate, occasionally the file was relocated to another office of the Department of Immigration and was then transferred to the Archives with the local records (for example, BP4/3 held in Brisbane). Occasionally the alien registration form is found inside the person's application for naturalisation or a related security investigation file.

Selected series relating to alien registration in South Australia
Canberra
Recorded by: Investigation Branch, Central Office, Melbourne and Canberra
Returns of aliens, 1916–22 A385
Canberra
Recorded by: Security Service, Central Office, Canberra
Return of aliens, 1941 A378
Papers relating to employment of aliens, 1942–44 A379
Correspondence files, class 6 (aliens registration), 1946–50 A437
Canberra
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, Central Office
'Dead' card index of registered aliens, 1948–51 A7109
Central card index of registered aliens, 1948–51 A7110
Alien registration 'dead' index cards, 1945–71 A3944
Sydney
Register of replacement 'B' (alien) slips issued, 1965–79 D1653
Adelaide
Recorded by: Investigation Branch, South Australia
Correspondence files (aliens), 1917–25 D1921
Adelaide
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Adelaide
Register of aliens, 1921–46 AP1097/4
Adelaide
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Statements by alien passengers on entry to Australia, 1923–48 D4880
Sydney, Adelaide
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Alien registration documents, 1937–64 D4878
Adelaide
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Alien registration cards, 1946–76 D4881
Registers of alien certificates issued, 1948–80 D1652
Morgue registers (non-active alien registration cards), 1940–58 D1654
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Registers of non-European students – arrivals, departures, change of address, 1950–62 AP415/1
Selected items relating to alien registration in South Australia
Canberra
Aliens Act 1947 – return of aliens registered for residence in South Australia, 1947–50 A437, 1948/6/305
Adelaide
Alien registration form – Jacques and Evelyne Playoust, 1928 D4880, FRENCH/PLAYOUST J
Check on alien registrations by government statistician for correct issue of ration books, 1941 D1918, S1074
Personal statements of alien passengers who landed at Port Adelaide, 1930–34 D596, 1934/8783
Alien registration document and card – Gerard Bertelkamp, including son Gerard also known as Beeb Birtles, 1959–66 D4878, DUTCH - BERTELKAMP G

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Chapter 17
Security and intelligence