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FCRA Registration, Procedure, Eligibility and Benefits

FCRA  Registration, Procedure, Eligibility and Benefits

Foreign contribution can be received only by such associations which are carrying out definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programmes.  There are two modes of obtaining permission under FCRA:

            I           Registration

            II         Prior Permission

I        Registration

Application for grant of registration to accept foreign contribution are to be made to the Ministry of Home Affairs in prescribed form FC-8, which can be down loaded from MHA’s website  On receipt of the application, the same is processed by the MHA as per the provisions of Act and guidelines issued for grant of Registration.  The registration is granted only to such associations which are doing genuine work in their chosen field of activity and are clear from security angle.

The normal time taken for final disposal of an application is about four months for the associations, which are not able to furnish verification certificate from Collector of the concerned District or other officers not below the rank of Deputy Secretary of the concerned Department/Ministry in the State Government/Central Government.   The associations, which submit the verification certificate on prescribed format, are granted registration within a fortnight of submission of the application.

Once registration is granted, the association may receive foreign contribution from any foreign source and it is required to furnish annual returns regarding receipt and utilization of foreign contribution to the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) on the prescribed FC-3 form duly certified by a Chartered Accountant.  This must be submitted before 31st July of the following financial year.


II.      Prior Permission

Application for grant of Prior Permission (PP) can be submitted in prescribed form   FC-1A to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which can be down loaded from Ministry of Home Affairs’ website  For this a commitment letter from the donor foreign source for funding specific project/scheme is mandatory to be submitted along with the application form.  On receipt of the application, the same is processed by the Ministry as per the provisions of Act and guidelines issued thereunder.  Prior Permission is granted to such associations which are new or in formative stage but are carrying out some programmes in the area of cultural, economic, educational, religious or social field of activities.

The normal time taken for final disposal of an application is about 3 months (extendable to four months) for the associations, which are not able to furnish verification certificate from Collector of the concerned District or other officers not below the rank of Deputy Secretary of the concerned Department/Ministry in the State Government/Central Government.      For the associations which submit such verification certificate, Prior Permission is  granted within a fortnight of submission of the application.

­Once Prior Permission is granted, the association may receive foreign contribution from particular foreign source for particular purpose within a reasonable time limit.  In such cases donor and donee are specific and amount of FC receipt can be utilized for the particular purpose only for which the permission has been sought.  Such associations are required to furnish annual returns regarding receipt and utilization of foreign contribution to the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) in prescribed FC-3 form duly certified by a Chartered Accountant.  This has to be submitted before 31st July of the following financial year.

If during a particular financial year, an association applies for Prior Permission for second or subsequent time, it is required to furnish details of receipt and utilization of foreign contribution received earlier.

Common Grounds for Rejection of Applications

            To remove certain lacunae noticed during administration of the FCRA and the Rules made thereunder, certain guidelines were laid down for considering applications for grant of prior permission/ Registration under the Act.  Some of the common grounds for rejection of applications are enlisted below as illustrations to bring in transparency and benefit the applicants in taking due care and caution :-

·         ·        If the association is not registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.


·         ·        If any of the office bearers/trustees, including the chief functionary is a foreign national, other than of Indian origin.


·         ·        If the association has a single office bearer/member.

·         ·        If the association is found to have been formed for personal gain or for diversion of the funds for undesirable purposes.

·         ·        If the association is found to be fictitious or ‘benami’ in nature.

·         ·        If the credibility of any member of the governing body is in doubt.

·         ·        If the association has close links with another association which has been refused registration under FCRA or prohibited under FCRA or violated the provisions of FCRA.


·         ·        If the association has links with any banned organizations.

·         ·        If the principal office bearers of the association have been convicted by any court of law under any act or if a prosecution for any offence is pending against them.

·         ·        If the principal office bearers of the association have been found guilty of diversion or misutilisation of funds of the said association or any other association in the past.

·         ·        If the activities of the association are found to be aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another.

·         ·        If the association is found to propagate sedition or to advocate violent methods to achieve its ends.

·         ·        If the association is found to be creating communal tensions or disharmony.

·         ·        If the office bearers of the association are also office bearers of another association and one of these associations has come to adverse notice.

·         ·        If the association’s printed work is not certified by the Press registrar of India not to be a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the Press Registration of Books Act, 1867.

·         ·        If the source of foreign contribution is found to be adverse to the interests of the country.

·         ·        If the acceptance of foreign contribution by the association is likely to be prejudicial to (a) the sovereignty and integrity of India; (b) free and fair elections to any Legislature or House of Parliament; (c) public interest; (d) friendly relations with a foreign state; or (e) harmony between any religious, social, linguistic, regional groups, caste or community.

·         ·        If the association has not filed its annual FC-3 returns, of receipt and utilization of foreign contribution received with prior permission, within the stipulated period.

·         ·        If the association has violated any provisions of the Act or Rules in the preceding three years and the said violation has not been remedied or rectified

1.                   1.                   Additional grounds for rejection of applications for Registration.

·         ·        If the association is not in existence for three years at least.

·         ·        If the association has not carried on any activity in its chosen   field during the last three years.

·         ·        If the association has not received foreign contribution, with prior permission, during the preceding three years.

·         ·        If the association has not made any substantial contribution, excluding expenditure on administration,  (Rs.6,00,000 over a period of three years or Rs.2,00,000 per year) in its field of interest.
 2.        Additional grounds for rejection of applications for Prior Permission

    * If the application is not accompanied by the ‘commitment letter’ of the donor.

    * If the application is not accompanied by the copy of project for which foreign contribution is solicited/is being offered.


Illustrative activities permitted to be carried out by associations having different nature


Associations having definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme can accept foreign contribution only after obtaining either prior permission or registration from the Central Government.   Following are illustrative but not exhaustive list of activities which are permissible and can be carried out by  associations of different nature :


1.                1.                Religious

·         ·        Celebrations of religious functions/festivals etc.

·         ·        Construction/repair/maintenance of places of worship, religious schools.

·         ·        Education of priests and preachers; (dissemination of the message of good will etc. from the holy books).

·         ·        Publication and distribution of religious books/ literature.

·         ·        Maintenance of priests / preachers / other religious functionaries.

·         ·        Any other activities related to the above.



2.                2.                Educational

·         ·        Construction and maintenance of schools/colleges.

·         ·        Construction and running of hostels for poor students.

·         ·        Grant of stipends/Scholarships/assistances in cash or kind to poor/deserving children.

·         ·        Purchase and supply of educational material-books, notebooks etc.

·         ·        Conducting adult literacy programs.

·         ·        Conducting Research.

·         ·        Nor-formal education/Schools for the mentally challenged.

·         ·        Non-formal education projects/coaching classes.

·         ·        Any other activities related to the above.


3.                3.                Economic

Following  but not being commercial or profit making activities

·         ·        Micro-finance projects, including setting up banking co-operatives and self-help groups.

·         ·        Self-sustaining income generation projects/Schemes.

·         ·        Agricultural activities.

·         ·        Rural development programmes/schemes.

·         ·        Animal husbandry projects.

 Md. Fazal Ali August 20, 2010
we march forward for all round development of underprevelage section of the society
 Gordhan Patel February 16, 2011
Dear Sir
Would you please advice regarding the follwing question
If Registration is applied & did not get answer afterone year
What is their disposal requirement?v
 Samik kumar Sinha Ray June 3, 2011
application for new registration for fcra already been made on 30-10-2010 vaid file no-7403472010 but not granted registration .
you reply this emailID-
 sunil July 13, 2011
Dear sir, recently i got Fcra. i want to know if any donor from foreign want to donate. it is taxdecutble or not pls let me know.
 Telangana Educational and Cultural Foundation August 28, 2011
We are conducting various types of social welfare programmes from 1996 but we have not received any donation from any body but we want to organise vide range of activities from now onwards if any body or any organisations from telangana region wants to help the society my share their views with us
ibps clerk exam June 27, 2012
I would like to know is it compulsory to get (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.) Registration I have to open a Current Bank Account
mitul October 18, 2012
plz sir send return procedure under fcra
i want to open fra account
what is procees
mail me
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