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Death of a U.S. Citizen

General Information

In the tragic event of the death of a family member overseas, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City can:

  • Confirm the death, identity, and U.S. citizenship of the deceased.
  • Attempt to locate and notify the next-of-kin.
  • Provide information about the disposition of the remains and personal effects of the deceased.
  • Prepare documents for the disposition of the remains in accordance with instructions from the next-of-kin or legal representative.
  • Provide guidance on forwarding funds to cover costs.
  • Serve as provisional conservator of the estate if there is no legal representative in the country.
  • Send the Consular Report of Death Abroad to the next-of-kin or legal representative for use in settling estate matters in the United States.


  • The deceased’s family may request an autopsy performed by Vietnamese authorities.  Vietnamese autopsy reports take at least 30 business days to produce and may fall short of the standard expected in the United States.  Next-of-kin should discuss with the service provider the cost of obtaining a copy of the autopsy report.
  • Autopsies are not typically performed on U.S. citizens who die in hospitals, except at the request and expense of the next-of-kin.  Hospitals are normally able to provide a cause of death, which is required for issuance of a Vietnamese death certificate.


What the Consular Section Cannot Do

  • Investigate the cause of your relative’s death, or solicit the services of a private investigator on your behalf.
  • Perform an autopsy. Autopsies are performed at the direction of the Vietnamese government, and are frequently required for foreigners who die a suspicious death in Vietnam or die of unknown causes.  Please note that the Vietnamese government is not bound to share the results of an autopsy with family members.  Autopsies are sometimes waived at the request of the family.
  • Provide a death certificate.  Death certificates in Vietnam are the sole discretion of the Vietnamese government.  We can issue a Report of Death Abroad, but this document can only be issued once the local authorities have issued an official death certificate.

Reporting and Documenting a Death in Vietnam

When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can assist families in handling arrangements with local authorities for preparation and disposition of the remains.  In the event of shipment of remains, normal cases require five to seven working days before remains can be transported.  Complicated cases involving a police investigation and/or an autopsy can take ten working days or longer.

The body of the deceased is taken to the nearest morgue or hospital pending funeral or shipment arrangements.  Before burial or transportation can be arranged, the local police of the ward where the deceased was residing must be notified. If the American died at a hospital, the hospital will issue a report of death. When the death occurs at a private residence, a family member of the deceased must present the letter/declaration of death to be verified and sealed by the police of the ward in question. The Report of Death or the Statement/Declaration of Death is presented to the Justice Office of the District or Provincial People’s Committee to obtain the Vietnamese Death Certificate.  The local Vietnamese Immigration Office must also be informed of the death of a foreign citizen.  Their contact information is available here.

Under Vietnamese law, the family should contact the Embassy or Consulate to obtain a Diplomatic Note detailing the family’s request regarding the disposition of remains (burial/cremate/shipment).  An autopsy is required for foreigners who die in Vietnam, if the death was of a suspicious nature.  However, the family may request that an autopsy be waived.  To do this, the Embassy or Consulate must send a Diplomatic Note to Vietnamese authorities stating the family’s wish to handle the disposition of remains, and stating that it has no objection to the waiver of autopsy. The Vietnamese authorities will then issue a permit for burial or cremation.  If the body is to be shipped to the United States, the next of kin (or a legal representative) must obtain a Quarantine Permit for Exportation of Corpse from the Service of Health of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.  Local funeral services in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can help with this matter.  Several other documents must also accompany the remains to the United States: 1) Declaration of Death (produced by the Service of Health); 2) Health Quarantine Certificate of Corpse, Bones and Body ash; and 3) Record of Corps Embalming (Forensic Medical Center – Service of Health).

How to obtain a Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA)

A Consular Report of Death of Abroad is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to reflect the facts of the death abroad of a U.S. citizen.  The document is based on the local death certificate. It is used by insurance companies and other entities in the U.S. to determine the distribution of death benefits.  Please follow the link below to the Department of State’s website for additional information on Reports of Death Abroad.

Obtaining a Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA):

1. Obtain a Report of Death from the Vietnamese Government (e.g. from the hospital or the People’s Committee/Police Office of the Ward where the American citizen died).

2. Submit to the American Citizen Services Unit (ACS) of the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General in Vietnam the following items: (1) Vietnamese Report of Death; (2) U.S. passport of the deceased; and (3) evidence establishing the legal representative, (i.e. ID card of the legal representative, marriage license if the legal representative is the spouse of the deceased, birth certificate if the legal representative is the child of the deceased) to obtain a diplomatic note or an official letter. Information on how to make an appointment and required documentation for building access is available on our website here.

3. Deliver the diplomatic note/official letter to the appropriate Vietnamese authority.  If the disposition of the remains is completed, you do not need to obtain the diplomatic note/official letter from our offices.  You only need to follow steps 4 and 5 below to obtain the U.S. Consular Report of Death Abroad.

4. Obtain the Vietnamese Extract of Death Certificate from the People’s Committee of the District or Province and have it translated into English (2 copies).

5. Take the Vietnamese Extract of Death Certificate and the notarized English translation to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General to obtain the U.S. Consular Report of Death Abroad. You are not required to make an appointment for this service.  Please walk in Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except holidays).  For building access, you need to bring appropriate identification, such as your passport or national identification card

For Ho Chi Minh City: You can mail all the documents to our office by Registered Mail or Express Mail Services Delivery to the American Citizen Services Unit (ACS) of the U.S. Consulate General, 4 Le Duan, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC.

List of Funeral Services

DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or reputation of, or 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.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General are not authorized to recommend any funeral services on this list.

Funeral Services in Hanoi

Hady Service Co., Ltd.
29, D6, F361 An Duong, Tay Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (84-24) 3821-1405
Fax: (84-24) 3821-0935
Cell phone: (84) 912-223-969 (Ms. Van Anh)
Email: repatriation-vn@hadyservices.com

International SOS Assistance
72 Xuan Dieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (84-24) 3718-6390 – ext. 190
Head Office: 1 Dang Thai Mai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (84-24) 3934-0555
Fax: (84-24) 3934-0556

23 Ngo 61/2 Lac Trung Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (84-24) 3821-0910
Contact: Ms. Vi Thi Khoa
Mobile: (84) 903-441-269
Email: transcosea@fpt.vn


Funeral Services in Ho Chi Minh City

Assist Intercontinental Service Company Limited
Address: 1492 Huynh Tan Phat, Phu My Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
• Mr. Jee – Ngoc Nguyen, Mobile +84 989 878851 – Email: repat@intercovietnam.com
• Mr. Thang Nguyen, Mobile: +84 982 288648 – Email thangto.nguyen@intercovietnam.com
• Mr. Nguyen Hoang Mon, Mobile: +84 972 309999

Cong Tho Hai Dan Commerce and Service Private Limited Company
Address: 203 Ton That Hiep Street, Ward 12, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City
• Tel. +84 28 3962-7877 / Mr. Tai, Mobile: +84 922 939293
• Fax: +84 28 3965-0984
• Email: cthdfuneralservice@gmail.com

Cuong Phuc Tho Funeral Service
Address: 18/185 Tran Quang Dieu, Ward 14, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
• Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Mobile: +84-918451812
• Mr. Cuong, Mobile: +84 906333838
• Email: cptchoray@gmail.com

Duc Tho Burial Service Co., Ltd
Address: 413 Tran Phu, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
• Tel: +84 28 3923-3902
• Mr. Hoai Hien Huy, Mobile: +84 903738413
• Email: 413ductho@gmail.com

Family Medical Practice
Address: 34 Le Duan St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (84-28) 3822-7848
• Fax: (84-28) 3822-7859
• Email: hcmc@vietnammedicalpractice.com

Hardy Services Co. Ltd
Address: 210 Nguyen Cu Trinh, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
• Tel: (84-28) 3990-3377
• Ms. Nguyen Van Anh, Mobile: +84 912223969
• Mr. Nguyen Minh Quang, Mobile: +84 918209017

Nam Cong Tho Funeral Service
Address: 793/66 Tran Xuan Soan, Tan Hung Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
• Mobile: +84 969 964 964
• Email: ngocnguyen15395@icloud.com

Nhon Tho Funeral Service
Address: 330 Tran Phu, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
• Mr. Tru Quoc Au, Mobile: +84 909907349

International SOS
Address: 106 Nguyen Van Troi, Ward 8, Phu Nhuan District , Ho Chi Minh City
• Tel: (84-28) 3829-8520
• Ms. Tran Thi Mai Huong
• Email: 1hcm.ops@internationalsos.com

Phuc Tho An Funeral Service
Address: 51/54 Pham The Hien, Ward 1, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City
• Mr. Toan Cam Luong, Mobile: +84 903833871

Vinh Phuoc Funeral Service
Address: 21/22 Nguyen Thien Thuat, Ward 2, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
• Tel. (84-28) 3832-2435
• Mr. Tien Tran, Mobile: +84 903357761

Xuyen A Trading Services Investment Company Limited
Address: P1-7-35A 7th Floor, 181 Cao Thang, Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
• Mr. Tam Thanh Tran, Mobile: +84 913 670-682, Email: tttam@bvpharma.com.vn


Disposition & Repatriation of Remains

When a U.S. Citizen dies in Vietnam, the body is preserved until instructions are received from the next-of-kin regarding the disposition of remains. There are normally two options:

  • Cremation and interment in Vietnam or shipment of ashes to the United States or other location.
  • Embalming in Vietnam and air shipment to the United States or other location for burial.

Please note that embalming and mortuary services in Vietnam may not meet U.S. standards.  Families are advised to consult with a funeral director in the United States about the advisability of viewing remains and conducting an open-casket funeral.

The next-of-kin or legal representative of the deceased is responsible for paying all expenses and costs associated with shipping the remains and any personal effects.  In most cases, the next-of-kin can make payment arrangements directly with a service provider.

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.

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.

Costs for Disposition and Repatriation of Remains

The cost for preparation and burial in Vietnam is estimated to begin at approximately USD 6,000.  This cost can be higher depending on the area. The cost for cremation and disposition of ashes in Vietnam is estimated to begin at approximately USD 3,500.

Should the next of kin decide to have the remains returned to the United States for burial, the costs are significantly higher due to the high cost of airfreight and embalming.  The cost for preparation, embalming and air shipment of remains to the United States is estimated at USD 12,000 to USD 18,000 or more depending on the airline and cost for the services provided by the funeral company.  The cost for preparation, cremation, and air shipment of ashes to the United States is estimated at USD 3,500 to USD 8,000.

Procedures for requesting permission to transport the ashes or remains of a U.S. citizen to the United States from Vietnam:

1. Fill out the quarantine permit application form (obtained at the International Quarantine Service in Hanoi or the International Quarantine Service in Ho Chi Minh City).

          International Quarantine Service (Department of Health)
          35 Tran Binh, Mai Dich, Cau Giay District, Hanoi
          Tel: (024) 3768-5512

          International Quarantine Service (Department of Health)
          40 Nguyen Van Troi, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
          Tel : (028) 3844-0155 / (028) 3844-5306 / (028) 3844-0157

2. Be prepared to present documents pertaining to the remains, such as a Vietnamese Death Certificate, certification from the physician or hospital, and other evidence of the death in support of the request for the permit.

3. Bring the urn with the ashes to the International Quarantine Service in Hanoi or the International Quarantine Service in Ho Chi Minh City for sealing (if applicable).

Contact Us

Please note that we will not respond to inquiries sent by postal mail or fax.

Submit an inquiry: Inquiry Form

U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
Consular Section,
Rose Garden Building
Second Floor, 170 Ngoc Khanh Street
Hanoi, Vietnam
Mailing Address:
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

U.S. Consulate General in HCMC
American Citizen Services
4 Le Duan Blvd., Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam