|This article is about the current version of DF.|
|This page contains information only relevant to DF v0.42.01 and newer. Most or all of this information will not apply to saves from v0.40.24 or before, although those saves can still be used.|
A visitor or guest is a person who comes to your fort at random, to stay at a location. Initially, you will receive only about three visitors for each location, who are all curious about the location they are visiting. When they leave, they may bring back word of what your place is like, attracting more visitors. This may benefit your fort, for example by providing social contacts for your dwarves, or enlisting soldiers. However, if you prefer having a dwarf-only fort (save for the prisoner elves and goblins), you should make sure they do not leave alive.
 Types of visitors
- Guests will come to relax, and only provide social contacts. They may perform in your inn. After they finish their tasks, diplomats may stay for a while as guests.
- Scholars will come to study, which includes reading books and discussing scientific topics with other scholars (including other visitors and your own dwarves), and may write books in your library.
- Mercenaries will come to enlist in the military. They will either petition for long-term residency or relax, and when you accept them, they can be added to any squad (note that they cannot be squad leaders) and will follow any order the squad receives. They are attracted by your inn.
- Performers, as the name suggests, will come to perform in your inn. They will tell stories, dance, make music, or recite poetry. They do this for fun, and will not ask anything in return. They may petition for long-term residency.
- Monster hunters visit inns to hunt monsters within the caverns. Once they are granted long term residency they will occasionally go down into the caverns on their own to hunt. As of 0.42.04 they might be bugged as nobody other than Toady has reported seeing them, but supposedly their requirements for arrival are having opened the caverns. As of 0.44.01, this is fixed.
- Slaves will come to relax.
- Travelers will come to relax. Some may seek sanctuary at your fort, for example, if you liberated them from a site. They may do this even if you have no locations assigned that allows foreign guests.
- Spies Will occasionally visit the fortress from other civilizations (as of 0.44.01). Their function at the moment seems mainly to report back to their Civ about what artifacts you have in your fort. The player can identify spies by looking at their names, roles and equipment. An elf spy for example might arrive at your fort claiming to be called 'Urist McBard' despite being an elf carrying only weapons and armour, with no bard skills what so ever. There is a bug in 0.44.02 that can cause a large amount of spies to turn up at the the players fortress as soon as they embark, and just wander around not doing anything.
Groups of performers under a single name may arrive as a Performance Troupe, and when petitioning will apply as a group. Allowing the petition will allow all of its members. Troupes may be made up of several bards and poets. Due to a current bug, troupes may arrive completely naked. Attacking or killing one member of a troupe does not automatically turn the rest of the group hostile.
Currently, scholars may leave with one of your books, though if they brought one with them then they may leave that one in your fort. Goblin visitors may cause bloodbaths due to their ethical requirement that arguments escalate into lethal conflicts.
 Residency petitions
Sometimes, a visitor may come with the intent to stay in your fort on the long term. All types of visitors can do this. When a visitor petitions for residency, they will meet up with your mayor. You will have the final say about whether the visitor will become a resident.
When you accept them, they will be added to the list of civilians in your fort as if they were a migrant. Their needs, preferences, and thoughts will be visible to you as normal, but they will not be able to have labours or occupations assigned. Aside from the reason why they came to your fort (such as performing in your inn), they may take brief breaks and do stuff in other locations in your fort.
After about 2 years in your fort, the visitor may then apply for citizenship, and accepting will allow them to have labors in your fort. To be able to assign them occupations, one first has to unassign the fort-wide occupation they get when applying for long term residency. To do this one has to navigate to their name in the fort-wide occupation list (the first screen shown after pressing ), press to reassign the occupation, and choose "Nobody". After this, the new citizen will become available for other occupations. Mercenaries will never apply for citizenship, though it is worth noting that a bard or other visitor-turned-citizen will be able to become a militia captain, effectively enabling all-mercenary squads.
Apparently, visitors will side with an attacking force of their own civ, potentially leading to a full scale civil war, but this is in need of more research.