Being at Anime Expo last weekend got me thinking about all the "trapped in another world" anime I watched as a kid: Inu Yasha, Fushigi Yuugi, Escaflowne, etc. The general plot of these is that a high school girl from "our" reality is magically transported to an alternate reality/time, where she's usually stuck and must perform some great task in order to return. Sometimes, when she does manage to come back, one or more of her new friends (or enemies) from the alternate reality come back with her.
In most of these stories, the alternate reality is a fantasy/medieval world with feudal kingdoms and very little bureacracy, so the girl from our world doesn't need any paperwork to go about her business. But the opposite case, when characters from the alternate world come to ours, seems like it would pose a problem for any extended stays. (All the anime I can remember dodged the question, either by having the stay be too short to matter, or by getting a god involved.) A character from an alternate reality who gets trapped in ours would quickly find themselves limited in the same ways as most illegal immigrants, unless they could find a way to somehow get the appropriate paperwork.
Would it be possible for someone from an alternate reality to successfully apply for and receive some kind of legal status in our world? If not, what would have to be different in our world for that to work?
I'm aware there are already processes for illegal immigrants to become legal residents; however, they're from our reality and have roots that extend prior to their arrival in the new country. I'm curious whether it would be possible to do the same thing as someone who literally did not exist in this world last week.
- The alternate-reality character does not have any kind of powerful, all-purpose magic/technology.
They're at least old enough to be a YA protagonist (so the equivalent of a human 13-year-old or higher).
They don't intend to reveal they're from an alternate reality (either they're aware that would go badly, or they have some other reason to keep it secret).
- They're stuck in our world for an extended period of time, and can't just hop back and forth between their world and ours (and no one else can, either).
- They may or may not speak the local language (it's handwaved in the various anime, but I've seen a book version where they don't, and it's much more interesting).
Bonus: Would it be possible if the person from another world is not human? Obviously someone who's visibly non-human, like a lizard person or a winged humanoid, would most likely be whisked away for study. But Inu Yasha can pass for human if you hide his ears and claws - would someone like him, who appears mostly human but isn't, be able to successfully gain legal status?