Convicts were normally sentenced to seven or 14 year terms but others had sentences ranging from 10 years to life. About half the convicts were transported for seven years, and a quarter were sentenced for 14 years.
If they were well behaved, convicts were not usually required to serve out their full term and could apply for a:
  • ticket of leave
  • certificate of freedom"

  • conditional pardon; or
  • an absolute pardon.
With good conduct, a convict serving a seven year term usually qualified for a ticket of leave after four or five years, whilst those serving 14 years could expect to serve between six to eight years. 'Lifers' could qualify for their conditional pardon after 10 or 12 years.
A convict was required to carry their ticket of leave at all times.