Death of a U.S. Citizen

When an U.S. citizen dies in Trinidad and Tobago, the American Citizen Services Unit of the US Embassy assists the family and friends. We attempt to locate and inform the next-of-kin of the U.S. citizen’s death.  We provide information on how to make arrangements for local burial or return of the remains to the United States. The Department of State has no funds to assist in the return of remains or ashes of U.S. citizens who die abroad.

A U.S. consular officer overseas has statutory responsibility for the personal effects of a U.S. citizen who dies abroad if the deceased has no legal representative or next-of-kin in the country where the death occurred, subject to local law.  The consular officer prepares an inventory of the personal effects and then carries out instructions from the legal representative or next-of-kin concerning the effects.

The Embassy is responsible for the preparation of a Consular Report of Death Abroad document which will assist the next of kin with legal matters which may arise as a result of the death. For more information on the Consular Report of the Death of Abroad, and other services with which a consular officer can help you when a loved one passes away in Trinidad and Tobago, see the links below.

For every civilian American who dies in Trinidad & Tobago, the Embassy prepares a Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad. This certificate is based on the Trinidad & Tobago death certificate and is valid for use in the United States. Certified copies will be sent to the Next of Kin and the original will be sent to the Department of State for permanent filing.

Some U.S. insurance companies, other agencies, and courts in the U.S. request information on our legal authority to issue such reports. That authority is contained in 22 U.S. Code 4196; 22 Code of Federal Regulations 72.1.

In order to begin the Consular Report of Death for an American Citizen Abroad certificate, email us at acspos@state.gov  with scanned copies of the following documents:

  1. Naturalization Certificate of the deceased (if this is available)
  2. U.S. passport of the deceased
  3. Establishment of the Next of Kin relationship for example Marriage Certificate if there is a living spouse or birth certificate of a child. Policy defines the next of kin as initially a spouse, then adult children, then parents and then siblings.
  4. One original Electronic Death Certificate
  5. Completion of FOREIGN SERVICE REPORT OF DEATH OF A UNITED STATES CITIZEN form, click HERE for this form

To obtain a Trinidad and Tobago Death Certificate you can go to Registrar General’s Office
Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Tel: (868) 624-1660
Opening hours:  8:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays         

Click HERE to visit this website for further information on Trinidad and Tobago Death Certificate

Click HERE for further details on the Consular Report of Death.

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.

There is no law in Trinidad & Tobago providing that remains must be interred within a certain amount of time. However, the scarcity and high expense of refrigerated storage facilities dictate that the disposition of remains be completed as quickly as possible. The following information is helpful in making your decisions.

  1. Click HERE  to obtain a list of funeral homes
  2. Click HERE for the Disposition of Remains Report which has details on Embalming, Cremation and estimated costs

Click HERE to obtain information on what can be done concerning the Estate of a deceased U.S. Citizen