Re: 1900-era documents for immigration to USA #general

Peter Zavon <pzavon@...>

Passports and visa were not required to enter the US until the 1920s.

Prior to that you needed a ticket to get on the ship. If you were not in
good health, or were otherwise thought likely to become a public charge, you
could be refused entry upon arrival.

It would then be the responsibility of the shipping company to return you to
your port of origin (without further charge to you.) Since that was an
additional expense for the shipping company, they sometimes tried to check
people before letting them board their ships.

If you went Canada and did not declare the US as your destination, even the
US inspection might be avoided by landing in Canada, spending some time
there, perhaps traveling west, and entering the US at a land crossing.

Peter Zavon
Penfield, NY

"Joy Weaver" <joyweave@...> wrote

I hope that some of you out in "gen-land" are experts on documentation needed
for immigration. At the turn of the 20th century, what kind of documentation
would an immigrant actually have to provide in order to board a ship (and be
allowed to continue the voyage)? Name? Age? Occupation? Destination? Could
they falsify all of that?

Snip <
Joy Weaver

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