Derivative Status Law and Legal Definition

The term ‘derivative status’ is used to refer to an immigration status that is gained through another applicant. The U.S. immigration law allow derivative status for certain visa categories. For example, the spouse and children of a J visa holder would be granted derivative status as J-2 Visa holders. A derivative status is earned only if the principal applicant is issued a visa.

The following is an example of a federal regulation on the termination of derivative status:

Termination of derivative status. The termination of asylum status for a person who was the principal applicant shall result in termination of the asylum status of a spouse or child whose status was based on the asylum application of the principal. Such termination shall not preclude the spouse or child of such alien from separately asserting an asylum or withholding of deportation or removal claim. [8 CFR 1208.24].