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Death of an American Citizen / Shipment of Remains & Ashes
 

Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas immediately in the event of the death of a U.S. citizen in Venezuela.  If no family members are present, the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit will contact the next of kin in the United States.  The ACS Unit can assist family members in making arrangements for the disposition of remains, but please be advised that no U.S. government funds are available to cover any expenses related to the death of a U.S. citizen outside the United States.  The ACS Unit will issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad, which is an official document that can be used in the U.S. to settle all legal matters relating to the deceased’s estate and insurance.

  • Original local death certificate issued by the Venezuelan authorities. (Acta de defunción, not the "certificado de defunción")
  • Original embalming certificate OR original cremation certificate, as appropriate
  • Original US Passport of the deceased
  • Social Security Number of the deceased (Original Social Security Card preferred, if available)
  • Information Form: Consular Report of Death of a US Citizen Abroad (PDF, 86.96KB)
  • A valid government-issued photo ID for the next-of-kin or designated responsible party
  • All originals requested above will be returned to the family when the Consular Report of Death is issued

If the family wishes to return the remains to the United States, please be aware that the process for preparing and returning remains is complex and may be expensive. This is especially true when the death occurs outside a metropolitan area. Again, the family of the deceased is responsible for all costs. Either embalmed remains or ashes may be shipped to the United States. The documentation required in either instance is identified below.

Documentation Required to Ship Embalmed Remains:

  • Original local death certificate issued by the Venezuelan authorities. (Acta de defunción, not the "certificado de defunción")
  • Local transportation permit, issued by Venezuelan sanitation authorities.
  • Packing certificate of the remains, issued by the funeral home.
  • Airline name, flight number, date of flight, air bill number and destination.
  • Name, address and telephone number of consignee or funeral home in the United States.
  • Valid Identification of the person who brings in the documents in order to prepare the transit label.
  • There is a fee of US$60.00 for the Consular Mortuary Certificate of non-Americans. The fee can be paid in cash, either Dollars or Bolívares, or with a credit card issued in the US or one issued in Venezuela, but it must have been authorized by Cadivi to make purchases on-line. Checks and debit cards are not accepted. Cashier hours: 8:00am-11:30am. and 1:00pm- 2:30pm
  • US Passport or Alien Resident Card (green card) of the relative transporting and/or receiving the remains.

Documentation Required To Ship Cremated Remains (ashes):

  • Original local death certificate issued by the Venezuelan authorities. (Acta de defunción, not the "certificado de defunción")
  • Packing of Ashes Certificate, issued by the funeral home.
  • Local transportation permit, issued by Venezuelan sanitation authorities.
  • Packing certificate of the remains, issued by the funeral home.

To Ship embalmed remains:

  • A family member of the deceased must contract the service of a funeral home and sign an authorization in order to comply with the legal procedures.
  • The family member together with a funeral home representative and one witness must go to the civil registry where the local report of death is issued.
  • The funeral home takes care of all permits from the Ministry of Health and from the Epidemiologist.
  • The embalmment and sanitation certificates are issued by the embalmer.
  • A representative of the funeral home applies at the US Embassy for authorization to transfer remains to the US, presenting all permits issued y local government agencies.

More information on the death of an American citizen from the Department of State

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