Repatriation of Remains:
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 email@example.com.
Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.
The death of an American citizen in Abu Dhabi Emirate should be reported to the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible. The death of an American citizen in Dubai or in the Northern Emirates should be reported to the U.S. Consulate General. In the event that a U.S. citizen dies while unaccompanied in the UAE, the ACS unit can help verify the citizenship and identity of the deceased and notify the next of kin. In all cases of death of U.S. citizen in the UAE, the Embassy and Consulate General can assist with arrangements for the disposition of the remains. All costs are the responsibility of the family, as the U.S. government is unable to pay for the return of remains or other costs associated with funeral arrangements.
Upon completion of all formalities, including the issuance of a death certificate by UAE authorities, the American Citizen Services unit will prepare a Report of Death of an American Citizen. This document is an administrative report that provides essential facts concerning the death of the U.S. citizen and custody of the personal estate of the deceased. Copies are provided to the next of kin or legal representative for use in the United States to settle estate matters.
Paperwork required for issuing a Consular Report of Death Abroad for a U.S. citizen
We have included some general information below regarding important documents that usually need to be completed when an American citizen has passed away. If you require any other assistance or have further inquiries, please contact the American Citizen Services Section at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi at any time. Our email address is AbuDhabiACS@state.gov and our phone number is 02-414-2200 (00-971-2-414-2200) if dialing from the United States).
The U.S. Embassy can issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad. To do this, we require the following:
- An original local death certificate issued by Abu Dhabi Department of Preventive Medicine at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Tel: +971-2-409135, 38 or 40 (dial 00 first if calling from the United States). The certificate costs AED 50 (approx. USD 17). Multiple original copies in English language can be requested at additional cost of AED 50 each.
- You can also request at a Death Notification Report at no charge. The Death Notification contains information concerning the actual cause of death.
- Deceased original U.S. passport.
- Based on the above, the Embassy issues 20 original copies of Consular Report of Death Abroad free of charge to the next of kin.
You or an associate in Abu Dhabi may bring these documents to the U.S. Consulate during business hours; please advise us beforehand so we can inform our local guards.
If you are planning on sending deceased remains to the United States, you will need the following documentation and clearances to be able to do so:
- A local death certificate issued by the Abu Dhabi Health Authority.
- Affidavit by the local mortuary with an embalming certificate, costs approximately AED 1010. The fee includes casket and transportation to the Airport. (Please note that embalming techniques in the UAE may not be to the same standard as in the United States.)
- Consular Report of Death Abroad issued by the Embassy.
- Consular Mortuary Certificate, issued by the Embassy.
- A “No Objection” stating the Embassy has no objection to the shipment of the remains to the United States. The Embassy can issue this letter when the Consular Report of Death Abroad is issued.
- An address of a funeral home in the United States with a letter stating that the funeral home will receive and clear the remains from U.S. customs upon arrival. (This is needed for the above mentioned “No Objection” letter.)
If you prefer, you may hire the assistance of a funeral service provider in Abu Dhabi. Below are two companies other Americans have used:
- Al Foah Funeral Services
Abu Dhabi and Al Ain
POC: Don Fox
Tel: 056-737-3618; 056-737-3619; 056-737-3624
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Middle East Funeral Services | http://www.mefs.ae/ | Dialing from the U.S.: 00971 4 273 03 13
- GRAFCO, Gulf Global Repatriations and Funeral Services Middle East | http://www.grafcome.com/ | 00971 4 335 0492