A “Beneficiary” is any person who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. In the context of immigration, a beneficiary 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 and derivative beneficiaries

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.


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