Death of a U.S. Citizen

The death of a U.S. citizen should be reported as soon as possible to the U.S. Embassy in Kingston. The Embassy will notify the next of kin if necessary and carry out their instructions regarding the disposition of remains.

The Embassy is required to report the death of U.S. citizen civilians to their next of kin and to the Department of State. Consequently, we need to know the deceased person’s name, date and place of birth, passport number, date and place of death, cause of death, and the location of the remains. We also need the full name and address of the next of kin so that we can determine their instructions regarding arrangements for the deceased.

Attached, you will find a list of funeral homes (PDF 336 KB) to which you may contact for assistance with regards to the repatriation of the remains of your loved ones:  You will also find the approximate cost of the services (PDF 52 KB) they offer.  The information on the lists of are solely as an informational resource.  The U.S. Embassy assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons, firms, or facilities.  Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of State.

Once the death certificate is issued by Jamaican authorities, the Embassy will prepare a Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad. This document will assist the next of kin with legal matters that may arise as a result of the death.

The U.S. Embassy will need the following documents to process the Consular Report of Death:

  • Certified Jamaican death certificate
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship (U.S. Passport and Naturalization Certificate)
  • Report of Death worksheet (PDF 53 KB)

In sudden or accidental deaths, Jamaica requires a post-mortem exam be done and a coroner’s inquest be held before a death certificate can be issued.  As a result, it can take up to two years for the Jamaican authorities to issue a death certificate.  To facilitate the settling estate matters, the U.S. Embassy may issue a Preliminary Report of Death Abroad based on the autopsy report.

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.

Please contact ACS for more information, including costs of burial, repatriation, etc.

Additional Resources