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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Assurance Guidance

Registration and approval: after the pre-approval visit: spent convictions

To help those with lesser offences, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 enables criminal convictions to become spent or ignored after a specific period of time. We are legally barred from including a spent conviction as reason for refusal. The table below sets out when a conviction becomes ‘spent’:

Sentence Rehabilitation period for people aged 17 or under when convicted Rehabilitation period for people aged 18 or over when convicted
Prison sentences of 6 months or less 3.5 years 7 years
Prison sentences of 6 months to 2 years 5 years 10 years
Borstal 7 years 7 years
Compensation, probation, fines, community service, combination, action plan, drug treatment and testing and preparation orders 2.5 years 5 years
Absolute discharge 6 months 6 months