Death of a U.S. Citizen

We Are Here to Help

We know that the death of a friend or loved one is a difficult time. We are here to help.

We can:

  • Help with forwarding personal effects.
  • Work with any funeral homes you select to ensure proper shipment documentation.
  • Act as a liaison in arranging the dispositions of remains.

Please note, the family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges and shipping costs for the remains and personal effects.

Reporting the Death of a U.S. Citizen in India

The death of a U.S. citizen in India (resident or visitor) should be reported to the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the Indian state in which the U.S. citizen died so that a U.S. Consular Report of Death Abroad can be issued. This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States. To report the death of a U.S. citizen abroad and request an electronic version of the U.S. Consular Report of Death of a U.S. citizen abroad, please complete this PDF attachment and email it to us. You can find contact information for your nearest embassy or consulate here.

Consular Report of Death Abroad

Please note that you will need to courier the following documents to our office for us to issue the Consular Report of Death Abroad:

  • Original death certificate from local authorities.
  • Doctor’s report with cause of death listed, if available.
  • Any cremation certificate/receipts, if available.
  • Original passport of the deceased. Please be aware that a consular officer is required to cancel the deceased’s passport before the Consular Report of Death Abroad can be released. The passport will be returned to the next of kin.
  • A scan of the next of kin’s passport bio-page
  • A living will, if any

As of June 12, 2023, U.S. Embassy New Delhi issues form DS-2060, U.S. Department of State Report of Death of a U.S. citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad (CRODA), electronically.  Consulates General Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai began issuing them August 1, 2023.

The electronic CRODA contains the digital signature of the consular officer who signed the form with a time and date stamp when it was signed on the form’s “Signature On All Copies” line, the typed name and title of that consular officer, and the U.S. Mission India digital seal to the left of the digital signature.

Consular officers in Mission India also issue form DS-2060-P, U.S. Department of State Report of Presumptive Death of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad, electronically.

Additional copies of previously issued paper CRODAs can be obtained by contacting the Department of State Passport Vital Records Section.  For more information go to: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/records-and-authentications/requesting-a-vital-record-as-a-u-s–citizen.html

Disposition of Remains

  • The Embassy/Consulate can communicate with the next of kin and communicate their wishes about the disposition of remains to the local authorities.
  • Indian regulations require that a deceased person must be cremated, buried, or embalmed within 72 hours of death. Embalmed remains can be held in cold storage until instructions are received from the next of kin about disposition of the remains.
  • The Embassy/Consulate will assist in arranging documentation for remains to be shipped to the United States and will assist with preparations according to the direction of the legal next of kin. All costs are the responsibility of the next of kin.
  • Please bear in mind that mortuary and embalming services are limited in India, and not always up to U.S. standards. The U.S. government does not provide funding to help with shipping remains or other costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Find a list of India-based undertakers for each consular district here under each post’s specific resources.

For a detailed report on the costs and logistics of transporting remains to the U.S. or arranging burial or cremation services in India, please read the disposition of remains report here.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
  • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing dgmqpolicyoffice@cdc.gov.

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.