Alien registration and internment records

During both world wars, in the interest of national security ‘aliens’ (residents who were not native-born or naturalised) had restrictions placed on them. All aliens entering or residing in Australia had to be registered and report all changes of name, address, job or marital status. Alien registration forms may include information on the ship and date of arrival, date and place of birth, occupation, marital status, a physical description or photograph, and addresses in Australia.

In addition, the government interned thousands of men, women and children during World War I and World War II. Most of those interned were classed as 'enemy aliens', that is, nationals of countries at war with Australia.

Fact sheets

Alien registration records held in Perth

Internment records World War I

World War I internee, alien and POW records held in Adelaide

World War I internee, alien and POW records held in Canberra

Wartime internee, alien and POW records held in Perth

Internment records World War II

World War II internee, alien and POW records held in Adelaide

World War II internee, alien and POW records held in Canberra

Wartime internee, alien and POW records held in Perth

World War II internee, alien and POW records held in Sydney

Italian migration

Records relating to Italian migration held in Perth

Records relating to Italian migration held in Sydney

Reference guides

Allies, Enemies and Trading Partners: Records on Australia and the Japanese, by Pam Oliver, 2004, 288pp.

Books

In the Interest of National Security (pdf, 1.2mb) : Civilian internment in Australia during World War II, Klaus Neumann, 2006, 124pp.

Snapshots of the collection

Wartime internment camps in Australia

Searching for internment and alien registration records

To search for records of a person who may have been interned or classed as an alien, go to  
Search the collection and then RecordSearch. Enter the name you are searching for.

Contact us via the Internment or alien registration records inquiry form if unable to locate records.
    Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017