To apply for a U visa, you have to be a non-citizen and meet certain requirements. Some of those are suffering substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of specific criminal activity, possessing information concerning that criminal activity, has been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
The term Qualifying criminal activities include domestic violence, sexual assault or exploitation, rape, torture, incest, trafficking, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, etc. But, also, an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the abovementioned criminal activities to qualify a victim to apply for U visa.
Besides these, there is some special consideration, such as your criminal history. It also matters whether you entered the United States legally, or if you have prior removal or deportation orders. Still, no matter what you have done in the past, it doesn’t have to affect your eligibility because a U visa allows you to ask for a waiver. But, keep in mind that the USCIS will examine each situation separately.
For example, in the case of JAN. 29, 2020, the Petitioner sought “U-1” nonimmigrant classification as a victim of qualifying criminal activity, and the Vermont Service Center denied this petition. VSC concluded that the record did not establish that the petitioner warranted a favorable exercise of discretion, so the petitioner appealed. The USCIS denied the appeal because the petitioner didn’t determine the admissibility to the United States.
Furthermore, the petitioner entered the United States illegally three times without inspection or admission. Hence, USCIS ruled that the director was right when claiming that the petitioner did not deserve a waiver.