Sunday, 10 August 2008

Alien invasion

Immigrants to Australia were officially referred to as Aliens. The Aliens Act of 1947 meant that all immigrants 16 years of age or older had to register and notify any change of name, address or occupation.

The registration process required aliens to submit a number of 'RA' (Registered Alien) documents. The range of forms to be completed included the following.

RA Information from Aliens over Sixteen Entering the Commonwealth
RA1 Application for Registration Form
RA2 Application for Registration by Alien Entering Australia
RA3 Notice of Change of Occupation or Employment
RA4 Notification of Departure from Australia
RA5 Notice of Change of Residence
RA6 Notification of Marriage
RA7 Notification of Naturalisation
RA9 Application for Issue of New Certificate

The most commonly used form was the Application for Registration by Alien Entering Australia (Form RA2), which in practice appears to have been issued for both resident aliens and aliens leaving the Commonwealth. The RA2 form varied slightly in format over time but recorded the same details about aliens entering Australia. These details included name, address, nationality, date and place of birth, occupation, place and dates of birth of spouse and children, name of ship or aircraft registration, date and place of arrival in Australia. A passport-sized photograph of the applicant was attached to the majority of forms.

You can now access these types of documents from the National Archives.

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