A Beneficiary in the context of immigration refers to someone eligible to receive immigration benefits. In an immigration petition, a beneficiary is an alien who has had a visa petition filed on his or her behalf.
Principal Beneficiary vs. Derivative Beneficiary
The principal beneficiary is the alien on whose behalf a visa petition is filed. A derivative beneficiary is an alien who cannot be directly petitioned for, but who can follow-to-join or accompany the principal beneficiary based on a spousal or parent-child relationship. For example, when a petitioner is petitioning for his fiancee and fiance's child. The fiance would be the principal beneficiary and the child is the derivative beneficiary.