Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death Abroad:

When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, the American Citizen Services unit of the Consular office will assist in locating the next-of-kin of the deceased U.S. citizen. Our office will also assist families with information on how to make arrangements for local burial or how to return the remains to the United States. The disposition of remains is subject to U.S. and local law, U.S. and foreign customs requirements, and the foreign country facilities, which are often vastly different from those in the United States.

Our services include:

  • Finding and notifying the next-of-kin of the deceased
  • Acting as a liaison with the Burundian police, hospital and mortuary authorities
  • Providing a list of funeral homes that can arrange for the disposition and repatriation of remains
  • Assisting in the collection and return of personal effects to next-of-kin; and
  • Issuing a “Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad”

Disposition and Repatriation of Remains:

When a U.S. citizen dies in Burundi, the remains are usually preserved until the next-of-kin provides instructions regarding disposition. There are two options regarding the dispositions of remains:

  1. Embalming is permitted in Burundi: The two funeral homes mentioned on our page can do the embalming in Burundi as soon as the family indicates that the remains are to be shipped outside the country.
  1. Cremation is permitted in Burundi: The Hindu community is the only provider of cremation in the country. A chosen funeral home will work with the Hindu community for the service including all paperwork with the local government. Cremation in Burundi is executed in the traditional Hindu manner using a funeral pyre.

Autopsies are not available in Burundi.

Please contact a funeral home to arrange embalming, cremation, funeral, burial, and/or shipping services. The Embassy cannot recommend a funeral home, but those on the following list have indicated that they are able to ship remains to the U.S.

  1. Memoria (Funeral Home)
    Boulevard Ntare Rushatsi No 08
    Rohero 1, Bujumura, Burundi
    Tel: 72 444 222 / 75 651 242
  1. Diamond funeral service (Funeral Home)
    Avenue du 18 septembre Numero 20
    Tel : 79-002-778

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend on whether or not the body has been embalmed or cremated and if the person died because of a quarantinable communicable disease.

As of April 2020, 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

Please see the CDC’s guidance for additional information.

Return of Personal Effects

The Embassy can, in certain circumstances, take charge of some of the personal effects and possessions of the deceased if instructed to do so by the next-of-kin. This may not be necessary if the deceased has a friend or family member present in Burundi at the time of death.

We will conduct a thorough inventory of any personal effects and send a copy to the next-of-kin. We can send the family any item they wish to have returned at their expenses. Most families decide to donate items of little sentimental or monetary value (clothing, suitcases, kitchenware, etc…) to a local charity in order to avoid the large expense involved in returning these items to the United States. The Embassy will gladly arrange for this charitable donation on the family’s behalf.

Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad

The “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” (CRODA) is an official report in English that provides the essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. citizen. The CRODA is based on the Burundian death certificate. It functions in much the same way as a death certificate issued in the United States and can be used to settle bank accounts, insurance policies and other estate matters.

The Embassy can complete the report upon submission of the following:

  • Original death certificate (Copie intégrale) from the local civil registry
  • Original hospital death report
  • Passport of the deceased
  • Completed DS-2060 form
  • Copy of the next-of-kin’s passport or other ID

Please submit these documents to the U.S. Embassy by email: If the documents will be submitted by a family member or legal representative in lieu of the next-of-kin, please provide an authorization letter from the next-of-kin.

Additional Resources