Hyderabad | January 15, 2014
DEATH OF A U.S. CITIZEN
If a U.S. citizen passes away in India, the American Citizens Services Unit can assist with the information regarding the disposition of remains and personal effects.
The 24-hour phone number for the Consulate General is 4033-8300. If you are calling from the United States, first dial 011-91-40-.
Consular Report of Death Abroad
Even if no assistance is needed, the death of a U.S. citizen, whether a resident or a tourist, should be reported to the Consulate General so that a “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” can be issued. This report is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States. It is an official report written in English and is based on the Indian death certificate. More Information
The Consular Report of Death Abroad will be issued when the following documents are provided:
Original death certificate from local authorities (incurs nominal fee).
Doctor's report with cause of death listed.
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.
Disposition of Remains
- The Consulate General 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 Consulate General will assist in arranging documentation for remains to be shipped to the U.S., 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
I lost my original birth certificate, CRBA, marriage certificate, Report of Death or other U.S. record and need to obtain another one. What do I do?
The Consulate General keeps no files of the different documents we issue, such as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), or documents dealing with the death of a U.S. citizen in India. These records are instead filed in Washington, D.C. We also do not keep any files of Indian civil documents, such as records of marriages and divorces in India. These records are held by the Indian government. Other records, such as birth certificates for people born in the United States, are stored in the state of origin.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) – Please go to the State Department's web page on consular records for complete details on obtaining a copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).
- Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad (RODAC) – Please go to the State Department's web page on consular records for complete details on obtaining a copy of a Report of Death (RODAC) of a U.S. citizen.
- All Other Vital Records – Follow this link for an online source of more information about obtaining vital records in the U.S.
There are also on-line services that will help you obtain records for a fee. One such service is VitalChek (800-255-2414), which allows you to request birth, death, and marriage certifications online, by phone, or by fax. Another service called usbirthcertificate.net can help you obtain or amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, in addition to obtaining a birth certificate. You must have a physical street address to use this service (no APO's, FPO's, or PO Boxes).
Please do not hesitate to contact the Consulate General with questions. If you are unsure which Embassy or Consulate to contact, check this list of consular districts and contact information.