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Process of Registration and Prior Permission for Receiving Contribution

An NGO or an organization that is eligible to receive contribution under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, needs to register under Central Government or take prior permission for receiving such contribution. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules provide details for the registration process or taking prior permission.


A. Registration

An organization that wants to receive contribution under FCRA needs to obtain a certificate of registration from Central Government (this matter is administered by the Home Ministry) to receive funds under Section 11 of the Act. An application for registration for accepting foreign contribution must be made online in Form FC-3. The form contains fields pertaining to the name, address, objectives of the organization and the other details.


Next, the hard copy of the on-line application duly signed by the chief functionary of the association together with the required documents should be forwarded to the Central Government, and it must reach within thirty days of the submission of the on-line application, failing which the request of the person shall be considered invalid.


If the request of a person has lapsed due to delay of more than 30 days’, he can prefer a fresh on-line application with the Central Government. However, such application has to be presented only after six months from the date of cessation of the previous application.


Validity of registration - A registration under FCRA is valid for 5 years. It can be renewed if application is made to the Central Government in Form FC-5, six months before the date of expiry of the certificate.


A registration certificate granted on 1 January, 2011 shall be valid till 31st December, 2015. A request for renewal of the registration certificate must reach the Central Government, accompanied by the requisite fee, by 30 June, 2015. If no application is received or is not accompanied by the renewal fee, the validity of the registration certificate issued on the 1st January 2011 will lapse from the end of 31 December, 2015.

Form FC-3 requires details of the activities of the organization carried out during the past three years and the audited accounts of the organization for the 3 years.


Registration is usually granted after the organization has been carried out its activities for 3 years. If before completion of the period a non-profit seeks foreign donation, then it must apply for prior permission each time it receives a donation.


B. Application process for prior permission

An organization which is having a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme but has not obtained the certificate of registration cannot accept foreign contribution without prior permission.


An application for obtaining prior permission of the Central Government to receive foreign contribution shall be made electronically on-line in Form FC-4 which shall contain details regarding the organization and shall be followed by forwarding the hard copy of the on-line application duly signed by the Chief Functionary of the Association together with the required documents as asked for in the form.


As is required for registration under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, the hard copy of the on-line application is supposed to reach the Central Government within thirty days of filing of the on-line application, failing which the request of the person shall be deemed to have ceased and in case the application has ceased, the person can make new application but only after six months from the date of cessation of previous application.


C. Fees for registration or prior permission

An application made for the grant of prior permission is supposed to be accompanied by a fee of Rs.1000/- while an application made for the grant of the registration shall be accompanied by a fee of 2000/-. The fee, as applicable, shall be remitted by demand draft or banker’s cheque in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs”, payable at New Delhi. However, this fee is subject to revision by the Central Government.


An organization either needs to obtain certification or prior permission to receive fund under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act for which it needs to follow the above procedure.


D. Annual reporting requirements


The entity receiving foreign contribution is required to submit the following documents for every financial year (beginning from 1 April) within nine months of the closure of the financial year:

  • An income and expenditure statement, receipt and payment account and balance sheet
  • Form FC-6 (in case of receipt of money), accompanied by a copy of a statement of account from the bank where the exclusive foreign contribution account is maintained by the person, duly certified by an officer of such bank.
  • The annual return in Form FC-6 shall reflect the foreign contribution received in the exclusive bank account and include the details in respect of the funds transferred to other bank accounts for utilisation.
  • Form FC-7 (for articles received) or FC-8 (for foreign securities received) to be filed
  • Certification by Chartered Accountant with respect to the information in points 2 to 4 above.

Is there a reporting obligation for an organization that has received no foreign contribution?


Yes, a ‘NIL’ report must be furnished even if no foreign contribution is received during a financial year as per Rule 16(7) of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules.

Reporting authority: Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.


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