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Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Summary of updates – July 2015

Here’s a summary of the updates that we’ve made recently to our Information Hub.

There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update on our Hub. There are also links next to many of the updates, which link to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other members of the forum.


  • Travel to USA – We’ve updated the tables in the simple and detailed guides with some revised costs and timescales when applying for a visa, and included a link to additional information we produced recently on the ESTA form and moral turpitude.  Tell us about your experiences of applying for a visa for travel to the USA on the forum.
  • Travel to the UK – Some new information has been added about the need for individuals looking to apply for a visa to come to the UK to provide an overseas criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in continuously for 12 months or more over the past 10 years. For further information, see here.

Insurance, Banking and Finance

  • Benefits – We’ve developed some new information which outlines the main sources of financial help that are available which includes links to eligibility and how to claim.

Specific Occupations and Professions

  • Becoming a solicitor – We know that a lot of people think that, with a criminal record, you can’t become a solicitor. We came across a Daily Mail article which featured the case of somebody with a conviction who, after being sentenced to a custodial sentence in 1993, went on to successfully qualify as a solicitor in 2005. We’ve added a link in our information on becoming a solicitor.

What does the Hub cover? Areas we provide information/advice on

  • We’ve added some further information about the Hub which explains the areas that it covers. It also makes the distinction between subjects we can only provide information on (and not advice), and subjects that we simply don’t cover. For example:
    • We provide information/advice on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
    • We provide useful links (i.e. information) on prison issues, and points to others that can provide advice
    • We don’t provide information or advice on appealing a conviction.

Forum survey

  • Many thanks to everybody that responded to our forum survey. The winner of the £25 Amazon voucher was randomly selected and has asked that the £25 goes to a charity of Unlock’s choosing.  The results have been extremely helpful with many responses being really positive about what is currently available. However, some members felt that the forum needed to be more user friendly, especially for people who are not so computer literate. This feedback will be hugely helpful to us as we continue to develop an improved forum.

General links

  • We’ve added some new organisations to our list and updated the details of others. If you come across any organisation that you feel have been particularly helpful and who don’t appear on our list, please drop an email with their details




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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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