Making Australia Home – Your family migration records

The Making Australia Home project

During the twentieth century more than seven million migrants made Australia home. The Making Australia Home project by the National Archives of Australia is progressively making migration records available online. This will give easier access and also allow you to purchase a copy of your family's records.

Importantly, this ongoing project ensures the records are preserved for generations to come.

Finding family migration records

Little girl on suitcase
Anna Fiddelaers and baby Martina having arrived in Australia on the Zuiderkruis, 1954

If you or your family migrated to Australia in the twentieth century, we're likely to hold relevant migration records.

What information can I expect to find?

The records cover migrants who travelled on assisted passage schemes, those who were displaced persons, and those who registered at migrant accommondation centres, such as Bonegilla.

They give the name of the person who migrated, their nationality, date and place of birth, occupation, education and qualifications, and details of family members.

Other information may be found in passenger records, case files, naturalisation and citizenship records, migrant selection documents, and alien registration forms. Some post-World War II records even include a passport-sized photograph.

When are records available?

Under the Archives Act 1983 records become available to the public once they reach the open access period. On occasions sensitive personal information about named individuals may be withheld.

How do I find the record I want?

Finding out whether we hold your migration records is easy. Search the collection as a guest and select the NameSearch tab. Enter the family surname, and limit the search to 'Immigration and naturalisation records' using the drop-down category of records. If you locate a record you want to purchase, select 'Request copy'.

Tip: Try variations of the name if you don't find a match on your first search.

What if I can't find the record I want?

You may not find the record you want on our collection database because not all records are listed individually. If this is the case, ask us about records in the collection by completing one of our inquiry forms, and our staff will search for you. Please allow 30 days for a response.

How can I purchase copies of a record or photograph?

MAH folder

There are two options available for you to purchase copies of migration records. You can order either an online digital copy, or a colour print copy. Please allow up to 90 days for a response, irrespective of the format you choose.

If you order an online copy, digital images of each page of the record will be placed on our collection database and will be available for public viewing. Once the online copies are available, you will be notified by email about how to find and view the digital images.

If you order a colour print copy, a copy of each page of the record will be mailed to you in a presentation folder and will include information that may help you discover more about your family in the National Archives collection. In addition, if an online copy is not already available, a digital copy of the record will be made available for public viewing at no additional cost. When ordering a colour print copy, please indicate if certified copies are required.

Copies of photographs can also be purchased. Check our prices and product lists.

Can I view the original record?

You can view original records without charge in the reading room of the state in which they are held. To avoid disappointment, please give four weeks notice before you visit to ensure the records are available. Please note that records cannot be transferred between reading rooms.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016