Death of a U.S. Citizen

Please contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit immediately to report the death or serious injury of a U.S. citizen. The Department of State web site describes the type of assistance that the ACS Unit can offer in the case of the Death or Injury of an American Citizen Abroad.

The ACS unit provides guidance to family members of the deceased on how to make arrangements for local burial or to return the remains to the U.S.

PLEASE NOTE:  CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

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.

The ACS Unit also produces a Consular Report of Death Abroad for the family to use as proof of death in legal proceedings in the U.S. Please note that the ACS Unit cannot produce the Consular Report of Death Abroad until a local death certificate is issued.

The Embassy regrets that it does not have funds available to help with the return of remains or other costs associated with funeral arrangements. The ACS Unit will assist with documentation for remains shipped to the U.S. and will oversee the required preparations, but all costs are the responsibility of the family. While shipment of remains via commercial airlines is possible, it is very expensive and takes time. Cremation and local burial are available in Afghanistan.

For more information, please review the Disposition of Remains Report (PDF 70.7 KB) for Afghanistan.