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What is FCRA ?
FCRA (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act) is the act which regulated receipt of Foreign Contribution. This is the most important legislation for those receiving foreign donation. In the current socio-political situation, the act assumes special significance.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, (FCRA), was enacted in the year 1976. Its aims are to regularize the acceptance and utilization of Foreign Contribution or hospitality by certain persons or association. This was necessary so that people and organisation working in important area of national life may function in a manner consistent with the value of a sovereign democratic republic. Ministry of Home Affairs has since issued a citizen charter on the Act.

Important aspects of FCRA
Regulation of Foreign Contribution or Foreign Hospitality.
Utilisation of such contribution.
Ensure consistent functioning of NGOs etc. with broad national policy.
Chapter- II of the FCRA deals with regulation of Foreign Contribution and Foreign Hospitality.
The act regulates receipt of all sorts of donation made by foreign sources whether in Indian Currency or Foreign Currency. For the purpose of this note, the discussion is restricted to FCRA as applicable to non-political NGOs.
According to FCRA, all NGOs receiving Foreign Donation are required to obtain FCRA permanent registration or FCRA prior permission from Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India for receipt and utilisation of such contribution.

Type of FCRA registrations
FCRA Permanent Registration : 3 years old organizations are eligible to obtain permanent FCRA registration. Once permanent FCRA registration is granted NGO can receive contributions from foreign funding sources. For applying permanent FCRA application NGO need to file FC-3 Form online. Click here to download instruction for filling FC-3 form online.

FCRA Prior Permission : Prior permission of FCRA is required for those organization those are willing to receive contributions from foreign funding sources but have not completed 3 years after registration. For applying permanent FCRA application NGO need to file FC-4 Form online. Click here to download instruction for filling FC-4 form online.

FCRA Hospitality : “Foreign Hospitality” means any offer, not being a purely casual one, made in cash or kind by a foreign source for providing a person with the costs of travel to any foreign country or territory or with free boarding, lodging, transport or medical treatment. Any person (except member of a Legislature or office bearer of a political party or Judge or Government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body owned or controlled by the Government) who wishes to avail of foreign hospitality shall apply to the Central Government in Form FC-2 for prior permission to accept such foreign hospitality. Every application for acceptance of foreign hospitality shall be accompanied by an invitation letter from the host or the host country, as the case may be, and administrative clearance of the Ministry or Department concern in case of visits sponsored by a Ministry or Department of the Government. The application for grant of permission to accept foreign hospitality must reach the appropriate authority ordinarily two weeks before the proposed date of onward journey. Click here to read detailed guidelines for FCRA registration for accepting foreign hospitality. read more ...

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