Timeline

1860 - The first Muslim camel drivers arrive in Australia to join the Burke and Wills expedition. See Cameleers and hawkers in Stories

1901 - The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 is passed, introducing the dictation test to block non-white immigration.

1903- The Naturalization Act 1903 is passed, explicitly excluding 'natives of Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific' from naturalisation. See Becoming Australian in Fragments

1903 - The clause in the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 allowing wives and children to accompany returning residents is suspended by proclamation. It is removed from the Act in 1905. See Family reunions in Fragments

1904 - A passport system is introduced, allowing Indian merchants, students and tourists to visit Australia for an initial period of 12 months.

1905 - Fatteh Mahomed Dean's wife arrives in Australia. See Five generations in Stories

1905 - The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 is amended. The clause relating to proof of domicile is replaced by a system requiring non-Europeans leaving Australia temporarily to obtain a certificate exempting them from the dictation test (CEDT). See Returning in Fragments

1906 - Wives of long-standing residents of good character are permitted to visit their husbands for periods of up to six months.

1912 - The Immigration Restriction Act 1910 is renamed the Immigration Act 1912.

1916 - The War Precautions (Alien Registration) Regulations 1916 require all aliens (non-British residents) to register with police or customs officials.

1919 - Cabinet agrees to implement the Reciprocity Resolution passed at the Imperial War Conference in 1918. This allowed the wives and children of British Indians to enter Australia, subject to conditions.

1920 - The Nationality Act 1920 replaces the Naturalization Act 1903, removing the racial barrier. However, the policy preventing Asians from being naturalised does not change.

1923 - The Indian diplomat Dr Srinivasa Sastri visits Australia to review the conditions facing Indian residents.

1924 - Albanian migration to Australia rises suddenly after the USA introduces strict immigration quotas. See Albanians in Arrivals

1925 - The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918–1924 is amended to give British subjects of Indian origin the right to vote.

1926 - The Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act 1908–1926 is amended to grant British subjects of Indian origin access to old-age and invalid pensions.

1928 - Mahomet Allum opens his herbalist practice in Adelaide. See The wonder man in Stories.

14 December 1931 - Ali Abdul's appeal against his conviction as a prohibited immigrant is upheld by the High Court of Australia. See Ali Abdul v. the King in Stories

1939 - Aliens Registration Act 1939 is passed.

1947 - Non-Europeans who were admitted for business purposes and have lived in Australia for at least 15 years are permitted to remain without renewing their exemption certificates. They are effectively granted permanent residence.

1947 - Australia agrees to accept refugees from Europe under the Displaced Persons scheme.

1947 - The Aliens Act 1947 is passed, requiring all aliens to provide details of changes to their address or occupation.

3 November 1948 - Samsudin bin Katib is deported from Australia for being in breach of indentured labour conditions. See The pearl diver in Stories

18 December 1949 - Assim Ethemi arrives in Australia from a refugee camp in Beirut. See A displaced person in Stories

1951 - Sheikh Fehmi Naji El-Imam arrives in Melbourne from Tripoli. See A remarkable journey in Stories

1951 - First Asian students arrive in Australia under the Colombo Plan. See Malays in Arrivals

1956 - Cabinet agrees to extend the right of naturalisation to non-Europeans admitted before Federation and those who had been admitted since Federation but were permitted to remain without restriction.

1957 - Cabinet further extends eligibility for naturalisation, allowing non-Europeans of good character who have resided in Australia for at least 15 years to become Australian citizens.

1958 - The Immigration Act is replaced by the Migration Act 1958, which abolishes the dictation test and introduces a permit system.

1959 - Australian citizens could sponsor the migration of non-European spouses and minor children.

1964 - Conditions of entry for people of mixed descent are relaxed.

21 March 1964 - Mahomet Allum dies at his home in Adelaide. See The wonder man in Stories

1966 - Applications for migration by non-Europeans are now assessed on the basis of their suitability and qualifications. Non-Europeans are now eligible for naturalisation after five years residence.

1968 - First immigrants arrive under the Turkish Assisted Passage Scheme.

1969 - Mehmet Musa Mehcur and his family arrive in Australia under the Turkish Assisted Passage Scheme. See An assisted passenger in Stories

1972 - The White Australia Policy is formally abandoned as the basis for immigration.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017