Death of a U.S. Citizen

If a U.S. citizen passes away while in Pakistan, the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit can act as a liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help forward any personal effects if there is no one in Pakistan to do so.

The 24-hour phone number for the ACS Units at U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates are

Islamabad: (+92) (51) 201-4000 or 5000
Lahore: (+92) (42) 3603-4000
Karachi: (+92) (21) 3527-5000
From the United States: 1-888-407-4747.

Obtaining a Death Certificate (called a Consular Report of Death Abroad)

Even if no assistance is needed, the death of any U.S. citizen should be reported to the ACS Unit so that a Consular Report of Death Abroad can be issued. This report is like a death certificate, and can help family members settle legal and estate matters in the United States. The report is official and written in English.

Requirements

The ACS unit will issue the Consular Report of Death Abroad when the following documents are provided:

  • Original death certificate from local authorities.
  • Doctor’s report with cause of death listed.
  • Original passport of the deceased. Please be aware that a consular officer is required to cancel the deceased’s passport before the Consular Report of Death Abroad can be released.

Disposition of Remains

The ACS Unit can communicate with the next of kin and communicate their wishes about the disposition of remains to the local authorities. Please note that:

  • Pakistani regulations require that a deceased person must be cremated, buried, or embalmed within 72 hours of death. Embalmed remains can be held in cold storage until instructions are received from the next of kin about disposition of the remains.
  • The ACS unit will assist in arranging documentation for remains to be shipped to the U.S., and will assist with preparations according to the direction of the legal next of kin. All costs are the responsibility of the next of kin.
  • Please bear in mind that mortuary and embalming services are limited in Pakistan, and not always up to U.S. standards. The U.S. government does not provide funding to help with shipping remains or other costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Please do not hesitate to contact the ACS units with questions by phone or by email at following e-mail IDs.

Islamabad ACSIslamabad@state.gov

Karachi ACSKarachi@state.gov

Lahore ACSLahore@state.gov

If a U.S. citizen passes away while in Sindh or Balochistan, American Citizens Services (ACS) can act as a liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help forward any personal effects if there is no one in Pakistan to do so.  The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges, shipping costs for the remains and personal effects (if applicable). We will work with any funeral home selected by the family to ensure proper documentation for shipment of remains to the United States.

Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of a U.S. citizen, whether resident or tourist, should be reported to U.S. Consulate Karachi so that a Consular Report of Death Abroad can be issued.  This report is like a death certificate.  This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.  The report is official and written in English.

We can issue up to 20 copies of the Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen, which is usually sufficient in number to settle matters in the United States.  For more information on this document, please see the Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad (PDF 70 KB).  The 24-hour phone number for the U.S. Consulate is (+92) 21-3527-5000.  From the United States, call the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747.

Requirements for the Consular Report of Death Abroad

The U.S. Consulate will issue the Consular Report of Death Abroad when the following documents are provided:

  • Original death certificate from local authorities.
  • Doctor’s report with cause of death listed.
  • Original passport of the deceased. Please be aware that a consular officer is required to cancel the deceased’s passport before the Consular Report of Death Abroad can be released.

Disposition of Remains

U.S. Consulate Karachi can communicate with the next of kin and communicate their wishes about the disposition of remains to the local authorities. Please note that:

  • Pakistani regulations require that a deceased person must be cremated, buried, or embalmed within 72 hours of death. Embalmed remains can be held in cold storage until instructions are received from the next of kin about disposition of the remains.
  • The Consulate will assist in arranging documentation for remains to be shipped to the U.S., and will assist with preparations according to the direction of the legal next of kin. All costs are the responsibility of the next of kin.
  • Please bear in mind that mortuary and embalming services are limited in Pakistan, and not always up to U.S. standards. The U.S. government does not provide funding to help with shipping remains or other costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Please do not hesitate to contact the U.S. Consulate with questions by phone or by email at ACSKarachi@state.gov.

Funeral Homes:

The U.S. Consulate Karachi, Pakistan assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.  Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.  Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers. 

Yousuf & Company
Opp. Camp General Store
Bohri Bazar, Shop No. 222
Saddar, Karachi
+92-333-2195235

Profile of Services in the Preparation and Shipment of Remains: 

(1) Maximum period before burial:

(a) There is no prescribed period when body is embalmed.

(b) A body must be buried within 72 hours when not embalmed. If the cause of death is contagious disease, the Chief Officer of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation may prescribe a shorter period of time.

(2) Embalming:

Embalming facilities exist. A body must be embalmed, when possible, within 24 hours of death.

(3) Cremation:

Local laws permit cremation, on the request of the next of kin. Cremation facilities exist. (There is a Hindu cremation ground where all remains are cremated. The fuel used is wood. No electrical cremation is available).

(4) Casket and containers:

Four containers are necessary to meet the requirements for shipment out of Pakistan. An embalmed body must be packed in a metallic, hermetically sealed container, which must be packed in a polished container, also hermetically sealed. These two must then be placed in a strong wooden packing case. This must be sealed with strong wooden planks and the entire package bound with metal loops. A list of the contents and inner case markings must appear on this outer container.

(5) Exportation of Remains – Local Requirements:

(a) Human remains:

(i) Official Death Certificate.

(ii) Doctor’s or Funeral Director’s Embalming Certificate.

(iii) Packing certificate: The Assistant Health Officer of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation supervises the packing of the casket and issues a certificate stating that the casket was properly packed.

(iv) Authorization letter from area police station.

(b)  Ashes:

(i) Official Death Certificate.

(ii) Cremation Certificate: The Assistant Health Officer of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation supervises the cremation and issues a certificate.

(iii) Authorization letter from area police station.

(6) Exhumation and Shipment:

Before exhumation of a dead body, permission must be obtained from Deputy Commissioner, Karachi. The presence of the Health Officer, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, at the time of exhumation is necessary. Exportation of exhumed remains is allowed upon recommendation of the Health Officer, based on the condition of the remains, coffin, and the circumstances under which it was exhumed.

(7) Costs: (Approximate minimum)

Charges are based on the exchange rate of open Market Currency Rates in Pakistan

(a) Local burial / Cremation:

(i)  Local burial                                                  $ 300.00

(ii) Cremation with ashes, urn, and packing
for transportation of ashes abroad to
meet International requirements                     $1,500.00

(b)   Preparation for shipment:

(i)   Embalming                                                 $ 400.00

(ii)  Cremation                                                  $ 500.00

(iii) Total cost of preparing a body for
shipment abroad, including embalming all
necessary documentation and the supply
of double coffins required to most
international regulations.                                $ 2,000.00

(c) Freight charges:

Approximate dimensions and weights for human remains are:
Embalmed – Approximately 600 lbs (272 kg) 7’4” x 3’ x 2’
Cremated – Approximately 20 lbs (9 kg) 15” x 12” x 12”
1 Kg = 2.2 lbs., M3 = 35 Cubic feet = 210 lbs. approx.

(i) Shipment of remains by air (minimum):

Karachi / New York, per Kg                              $ 7.00
Karachi / San Francisco, per Kg                       $ 10.00

The U.S. Consulate must do the following to ship remains out of Pakistan:

  1. U.S. Consulate must prepare an authority letter indicating the responsibility for paying the appropriate charges.
  2. Consular Report of Death Abroad
  3. Area Police certificate No-Objection Certificate (NOC)
  4. NOC from Consulate

Copy of U.S. Passport bio page that is notarized.

Funeral Homes:

Please send us an e-mail at ACSIslamabad@state.gov to get the information about the funeral homes.

Funeral Homes:

Please send us an e-mail at ACSLahore@state.gov to get the information about the funeral homes.