The setting is not earth, but a fantasy world whose technical and cultural advancement parallel that of Europe and North America circa 1790-1820. In this era, what sort of immigration laws and processes existed?

Fridrik is not human, and for purposes of this question let's call him a gnome. He was born and raised in S-land, but due to his species is not considered a citizen of S-land. For all human intents and purposes, Fridrik is stateless.

Fridrik has boarded a ship in S-Land and traveled to N-ary. He speaks the language and wants to seek gainful employment. In fact, he is quite accomplished as a cook. His culinary tastes differ slightly from humans, but is entirely compatible. He will have no trouble getting a job.

The Sultan of S-land (absolute monarchy) and the King of N-ary (parliamentary monarchy) are friends. Trade, tourism, and cultural exchange is common among both countries, human and otherwise.

Upon stepping off the gangway in N-ary, what procedures and red tape should Fridrik expect, if any? By comparing and contrasting what real travelers between the nations of Europe and North American encountered in that era, would there be some early version of an INS or Ministry of Customs there to greet him and inspect his documents? What all would he go through?

Note: I have also asked this question in a different form on History.SE. But since the motive is a fantasy setting , I want to get the WB perspective as well.

  • $\begingroup$ where is the question, all sentences with question marks are up to you. He can start from jail and death penalty to paradise, despite usually good relation between states. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 28, 2016 at 22:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why don't read this up on Wikipedia? American history is full of exactly such people, only they were usually protestants instead of gnomes. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Aug 28, 2016 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


In the time of 1790 - 1820 such laws, and security were relatively lax, and I doubt that such an immigrant would encounter much resistance at all. Especially due to the relationship between S-land, and N-ary.

I would also suggest reading the Naturalization Acts of 1790 - 1795 HERE


Consider that Fridrik is still an outsider.

He doesn't have formal passport and visa requirements to deal with, but will probably have difficulties in dealing with the police on a day-to-day basis, getting official permission to buy land, etc.

He may be more-or-less forced to live in an enclave with the other gnomes in N-ary.

  • $\begingroup$ I may not have been clear, but this question is not concerned with what happens long-term (he will definitely face some species-ism) , but only the initial moments immediately following his arrival. $\endgroup$
    – cobaltduck
    Aug 28, 2016 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ @cobaltduck Ah, gotcha. I saw "what all would he go through" and ran with it :-) $\endgroup$
    – John Feltz
    Aug 28, 2016 at 22:56

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