What is Considered Immediate Family? Why its Important to Know?

Close relatives are considered as immediate family members. So, parents, spouse, siblings, and children can be included. It can also contain the biological relatives of the person you have married. The number of your immediate family members might differ according to the government or an establishment that is managing this decision.

Some of the private companies might not give you paid leave to attend a non-immediate relative if he or she is sick. So, it’s important to understand who are your immediate family members. It might seem tricky initially, but you can easily understand the details because of our clear outlining.

Why it’s important to know your immediate ones?

  • Employees of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are not allowed to sell hot issues (high-value stocks) to immediate relations.
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows up to 12 weeks of job protection, but unpaid leaves for the staff if someone in their immediate family member is sick. Keep in mind that the leaves are provided only in case of serious health changes or troubles including pregnancy, accidents, and illness. However, only a company with more than 50 employees needs to follow this act.
  • Private companies can include or exclude even the closest family members, but they need to consider the immediate relatives.

Who are your immediate family members?

If we talk about the strict definitions of FMLA, then there are few members are designated as your immediate relatives. Your parents, spouses, minor kids including the fostered and adopted ones are also included in the same category. You might be surprised to know that the act does not consider in-laws in this category, even if they’re living with their married son or daughter.

Another point to consider is the age of kids that should not surpass 18 years. In case they are adults, then it’s only possible to be an immediate member if they cannot take care of themselves.

How private firms determine immediate relatives?

Some of the employers might consider only the direct family unit as your immediate family members. Means, only parents, spouse, and kids. All the other relatives are secondary in this situation.

Other private establishments could consider any of the individuals as your immediate relative if he or she is living in your house. No matter if they are blood-relations or associated to you after marriage. These are the two general factors that are followed by most of the firms. Apart from that, reasoning with the concerned person could be based on the following factors.

  • Distance: Family members living far away from you might not be considered as your immediate ones because you cannot be available “immediately” for them. However, it can be an exception if a child is living away from you. Such a situation could be considered by most of the private organizations.
  • Living time: Some of the organizations might consider a family member as your immediate if he or she is living with you for more than a year.

Are there any exceptions?

Some private organizations include cousins and other domestic residents as your immediate family members. However, it happens only in special cases wherein a cousin or any other relative is living with you because their parents are dead.

What are the benefits of immediate family members?

If you are establishing someone as your immediate family member, then he or she is can enjoy multiple advantages.

  • Insurance policies and benefits in case of any tragedy
  • Leaves up to 12 weeks if the immediate family member is sick or pregnant
  • Bereavement days for immediate relatives
  • Immediate family members can easily get the immigrant visa
  • They are also entitled to all the health benefits that you are getting from an organization


Today, we discussed all the points that you should know about immediate relations. You might have considerations of who you count as immediate family members. These are your personal views and it’s fine to think likewise. However, things change when the decision power goes to a third-party governing body.

For instance, no matter how much you consider a friend like a sister, you cannot take leaves from the government or private office to take her car in case of any emergency. The scenario changes if she is your biological sister. Whether you like it or not, she is your immediate relation as per law.

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