FCRA Registration – Eligibility & Application Procedure
Charitable Trusts, Societies, Section 8 Company that receive foreign contribution or donation from foreign sources are required to obtain registration under Section 6(1) of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. Such a registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 is called a FCRA registration. In this article, we look at the procedure for obtaining FCRA registration in India.
Eligibility for obtaining FCRA Registration
Organizations seeking foreign contributions for definite cultural, social, economic, educational or religious programmes may apply for FCRA registration or receive foreign contribution by way of “prior permission” route. It is preferable for an FCRA applicant to be a Trust or Society or a Section 8 Company. The not-for-profit entity must have also been in existence for a minimum of three years while making the FCRA application and should not have received any foreign contribution prior to that without the Government’s approval. Additionally, the entity seeking registration should have spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- over the last three years on its aims and objects, excluding administrative expenditure. Statements of Income & Expenditure, duly audited by Chartered Accountant, for last three years are to be submitted to substantiate that it meets the financial parameter.
In case a newly registered entity would like to receive foreign contributions, then approval for a specific activity, specific purpose and from a specific source can be made to the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Prior Permission (PP) method.
Criteria for grant of FCRA Registration
Once, an FCRA application is made in the prescribed format, the following criteria are check before providing registration.
The ‘person’ or ‘entity’ filing an application for registration or grant of prior permission-
- Is not fictitious or benami;
- Has not been prosecuted or convicted for involving in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another;
- Has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension or disharmony in any specified district or any other part of the country;
- Has not been found guilty of diversion or mis-utilisation of its funds;
- Is not engaged or likely to engage in propagation of sedition or advocate violent methods to achieve its ends;
- Is not likely to use the foreign contribution for personal benefit or divert it for undesirable purposes;
- Has not contravened any of the provisions of this Act;
- Has not been prohibited from accepting foreign contribution;
- The person being an individual, such individual has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.
- The person being other than an individual, any of its directors or office bearers has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.
The acceptance of foreign contribution by the entity / person is not likely to affect prejudicially –
- The sovereignty and integrity of India;
- The security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the State;
- The public interest;
- Freedom or fairness of election to any Legislature;
- Friendly relation with any foreign State;
- Peace and Harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes or communities.
The acceptance of foreign contribution-
- Shall not lead to instigating of an offence;
- Shall not endanger the life or physical safety of any person.
Applying for FCRA Registration
Application for FCRA registration can be made using Form FC-3. Along with the application, the following documents must be submitted:
- Self-certified copy of registration certificate of the association.
- Self-certified copy of important pages of Memorandum of Association/ Article of Association showing aims and objectives of the association.
- Progress Report indicating details of welfare activities done during the last three years;
- Copies of relevant audited statement of accounts for the past three years (Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure) clearly reflecting expenditure incurred on aims and objectives of the association and on administrative expenditure;
Once FCRA registration is granted, it is valid for a period of five years. An application for renewal of FCRA registration can be made 6 months prior to the date of expiry, to keep the registration valid.