Question: My husband was a baby when he came to Australia in 1951 as a 10 Pound Pom. He has lived here all his life and never left the country. We are trying to find out if he is considered an Australian citizen. Do you know if this was automatic in 1951?
Answer: In the years immediately after WW2, in order to increase both national productivity and boost our defence capabilities, the Australian Government focused on expanding the population through immigration. There was, however, concern in the community about who would make up this new, expanded population – it was felt at the time that too many non-British immigrants might alter Australian society in an undesirable way. With this in mind, Arthur Calwell, the first Minister of Immigration, developed a national immigration policy, making it easier for British subjects living in Australia to gain citizenship.
So it was out of the shadow of the White Australia policy that the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 was formed, gaining support on both sides of the political divide.
For a brief time between 26 January 1944 and 26 January 1949, a British subject resident in Australia, automatically became an Australian citizen. Otherwise, before and after this time, an application for citizenship has been required in order to obtain Australian citizenship.
Hi Patricia, the answer to this is in the article above:
You should look at the Immigration Department website that is linked at right and contact them with your citizenship questions.
Hi Jason,It would be best for you to contact the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, who will be able to assist you determine the status of your Australian citizenship: http://www.citizenship.gov.au/current/
We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.
It would be best for you to contact the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, who will be able to assist you determine your eligibility for immigration to Australia
It would be best for you to contact the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, who will be able to assist you to determine the status of your British citizenship.
You should contact the Department of Immigration and Protection who can assist you better with questions direrectly relating to modern citzenship practises. Our current information is based on historical scenarios, particularly during post war migration periods. They are better placed to tell you about your current citzenship situation.
It was not uncommon for young children to be list under their parents passport. If you are wanting to find your parents migration material you can contact the National Archives of Australia which is the repository for all migrant records into Australia. While a physical file exists it's worth mentioning that online only a small percentage of files are currently available to view.
It would be best for you to contact the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, who will be able to answer your questions about citizenship.
Hi Stephen. A good question - we checked with the relevant Curator here, and they said that they would've assumed passports were needed, but in many circumstances the individuals wouldn't have had an existing passport prior to the migration process, so the question is whether they got them specially done to migrate. Wives and children may have been listed on the husband’s passport but women also certainly could have their own.
Our collections hold a couple of application forms regarding the application for UK passports in the 1950s-60s such as this, which refers to both joint and separate passports for women. People also had to surrender their British passports for 2 years upon arrival, so it might be also worth the enquirer looking for a certificate of identity which was given in exchange for a passport.
We hope this helps, and best of luck with your research.
I would be best for you to contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
The original question referred to on this page was an historic event. Unfortunately Museum Victoria is not an expert in current citizenship policy. For this reason it would be best for you to contact the Department of Immigration & Citizenship.
Please refer to the answer above.
Hello, I live in lake Cargelligo which is a very small town, if you contacted someone older, like the volunteers at the information centre locally, they could p...
To read the latest tweets from @immigration_mv
Follow Immigration Museum on
Thanks for your enquiry.
There's just the one price of $15 per entry for the Chilli festival.
We look forward to seeing you there.