After World War II Australia sought to increase its population, both to advance economically and to improve the security of the nation. The Australian Government offered various assisted passage schemes to encourage people from European countries, many of whom had lost their homeland, to migrate to Australia.
Migrant selection documents are documents that were compiled overseas when people applied to migrate to Australia under one of the schemes. The majority of migrant selection documents held by the National Archives date from the post-World War II period.
These records are one of the best sources of family history information on a migrant. They vary in the amount of detail they provide, but generally contain a range of personal details such as name, address, place and date of birth, gender, marital status and nationality. Other details may include physical description, occupation, education, proposed employment and names of other family members, as well as health checks and photographs.
What migrant selection documents do we have?
The National Archives holds migrant selection documents dating from 1945. For more information on migrant selection documents see:
Sample migrant selection documents
The whole series BP145/1 – Personal documents of Italian migrants entering Queensland – is digitised and available for viewing in RecordSearch. To see the 1777 digitised items, follow the link and use the button to 'Find items in this series'.
You can see samples of migrant selection documents in our postwar migration records showcase.