Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death of a Loved One

The U.S. Embassy can assist family and friends during this difficult time.  Following the death of a loved one, the next of kin needs to choose a funeral home as quickly as possible.  We can act as liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects.  The family or legal representative is responsible for all funeral home arrangements, repatriation 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 repatriation of remains to the United States.  A list of funeral homes and other procedures are explained below.

Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of a U.S. citizen, whether resident or tourist in Honduras, should be reported to the U.S. Embassy so that a Consular Report of Death Abroad can be issued and reported to all concerning government agencies.

Anyone aware of the death of a U.S. citizen should report the death immediately to the local police and to the U.S. Embassy.

The person reporting the death of a U.S. military member should also inform the Department of Defense.

The person reporting a death should include the deceased person’s name, date and place of birth, passport number, date and place of death, cause of death, and the location of the remains as well as the full name and phone number of the next of kin, if available.  You may reach us during normal working hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-Th and 8:00-3:00 F) at (504) 2238-5114. The Emergency duty officer can be reached after working hours and on weekends by telephoning (504) 2238-5114.  Consular officers will attempt to contact the next of kin immediately. In cases where the consular officer cannot immediately identify the next of kin, the Embassy or Consulate will attempt to locate the next of kin, or legal representative.

Generally, the next of kin is held to be the spouse, the adult children, the parent(s), or the siblings of the deceased.

The next of kin must complete an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Next of Kin (PDF 184KB). The next of kin may then email a scanned copy to the Embassy.

The next of kin may choose to have the remains buried or cremated in Honduras, or embalmed and returned to the United States.

Interment in Honduras:

  • Next of kin should contract with a local funeral home for local interment (see the section below, Funeral Homes in Honduras).
  • The cost for burial in Honduras ranges from $1,000 for burial without embalming in a common grave, to $6,000 for burial with embalming in a private cemetery.
  • If the next of kin is not physically present in Honduras, the consular officer may prepare a letter of authorization for the funeral home.
  • Honduran authorities take into consideration other factors, such as an autopsy, investigation, or family wishes for timing of interment, yet regulations and customs in Honduras normally require human remains to be buried as soon as possible following death.

Repatriation of Remains to the United States:

  • Next of kin should contract with a local funeral home for repatriation to the United States (see the section below, Funeral Homes in Honduras).
  • The cost for embalming, preparation, documentation, and air shipment of remains to the United States from Honduras is approximately $4,500-$7,000.
  • The consular officer will prepare a consular mortuary certificate.
  • If the next of kin is not physically present in Honduras, the consular officer may prepare a letter of authorization for the funeral home.
  • Funeral homes in Honduras prepare remains for air shipment in accordance with the laws of and facilities available in Honduras and, in some cases, the services fall short of those expected in the U.S.
  • See the next section, Necessary Honduran Government Documents, for more information about necessary documents.
  • A licensed funeral home in the United States must receive the remains upon arrival.
  • The process overall typically takes one to two weeks.

The next of kin needs to obtain several documents from Honduran authorities in order to prepare remains for local burial or shipment abroad. In many instances a funeral home in Honduras can obtain, or assist you in obtaining, these documents.

Honduran Medical Report or Autopsy: The first physician who examines the body and the hospital’s medical director, or the municipality physician if death did not occur at a hospital, will prepare and sign the Honduran medical report or autopsy report.

Honduran Death Certificate: Registered with medical report or autopsy report in local registrar (where death occurred).

Embalming Report (if applicable): Only physicians are authorized to embalm corpses and issue the necessary report for export of remains.

Export Permit: The Ministry of Health must issue an export permit that is then provided to the funeral home.

Affidavit: The mortician of the embalming authority must sign an affidavit before the consular officer.

Consular Mortuary Certificate: The Embassy will prepare this document once the funeral home submits the paperwork to us.

Legal advice : We do not have a legal department and we cannot intervene or give advice in the private legal matters, including wills, probate and estate matters.  If you require legal advice, you can find lists of some law firms on our website.

Consular Report of Death Abroad is an administrative document issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the personal estate of the deceased U.S. citizen. It is based on the foreign death certificate, and cannot be completed until the foreign death certificate is issued. It is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.

Twenty sealed copies of the Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad, issued at the time of death, will be provided to you. The original will be sent to the Department of State for permanent filing. There is no fee for this service; however, the following documents must be submitted in original to the Consular Section along with downloading and printing the CRODA questionnaire (PDF 17 KB):

  • Death Certificate from the Honduran Civil Registry.
  • Medical certificate or autopsy report from the attending physician or hospital stating the cause of death.
  • U.S. Passport of the deceased.
  • If applicable, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Naturalization Certificate for the deceased.

If in the future you find that you need additional copies, they can be obtained for a fee of fifty dollars. If you need additional copies, please send a written request together with a check or money order made payable to the Department of State to the address below.  For more details on how to make a request, please click here.

U.S. Department of State
Passport Services Vital Records Section
1111 19th St., NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20522-1705

Absent any special circumstances (such as the death having occurred as the result of a crime), Honduran law allows embalming of remains as soon as possible following death.

The next of kin or another individual who is responsible for making funeral arrangements may contact a suitable funeral home in Honduras to assist with local arrangements. The below list is compiled by consular officers of some funeral homes operating in Honduras that have provided embalming and funeral services in the past; it is not exhaustive.

Tegucigalpa

Funeraria La Auxiliadora 
Boulevard Suyapa
Frente a Price Smart
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Tel: (504) 2269-1864, (504) 2269-1865
Email: mailto:laauxiliadorahonduras@gmail.com
Administrator(s): Miriam de Mejia (504-9995-7512), Mario Sanders (504-9958-2039)
DOES NOT PROVIDE ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK

Funerales San Miguel Arcángel
Colonia Alameda
Entre 3ra y 4ta Calle, Avenida Tiburcio Carias Andino #1141
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Tel: (504) 2232-5070, (504) 2232-5370, (cell) (504) 9954-9930
Administrator(s): Samir Orozco, Angel Maradiaga, and Rigoberto Raudales (all available at 504-9896-5731)
Email: alameda@sanmiguelarcangel.hn
PROVIDES ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK AT AN ADDITIONAL COST

San Pedro Sula

Assistance Memorial (cremation available)
Costa Verde
San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras
Tel: (What’s App) https://bit.ly/AsesoriaKeyllinPineda, (cell) (504) 9905-4481
Administrator(s): Keyllin Pineda
Email: kpineda@assistancememorial.com
PROVIDES ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK AT AN ADDITIONAL COST

Funeraria Jardines y Funerales del Recuerdo (cremation available)
Barrio el Benque 11 ave 4 calle
San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras
Tel: (504) 2553-6405, (504) 2553-6406, (cell) (504) 9982-8630, (cell) (504) 9487-0226
Administrator(s): Enmia Mejia, Lic. Ada Madai Vásquez
Email: avasquez@jardinesdelrecuerdo.hn
PROVIDES ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK AT AN ADDITIONAL COST

Funerales San Miguel Arcángel
Ave. Circunvalación, contiguo a la 105 Brigada de Infantería, Complejo del IPM
San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras
Tel: (504) 2550-3451, (504) 2550-3406, (504) 2550-5607, (504) 2550-5568, (cell) (504) 9715-2087
Administrator(s): Luis Alonso Rivera, Martin Muñoz, Daniel Vallecillo (all available at 504-9565-2251
Email: Sanpedrosula@sanmiguelarcangel.hn
Fax: (504) 2552-3554
PROVIDES ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK AT AN ADDITIONAL COST

La Ceiba & Bay Islands

Funerales San José (cremation available)
Contiguo Escuela Episcopal
Barrio Solares Nuevos
Avenida Morazan, No. 1
La Ceiba, Atlantida
Tel: (504) 2443-0353, (cell) (504) 9833-7191
Email: emejia@jardinesdelrecuerdo.hn, pochoa@funeralessanjose.hn
PROVIDES ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK AT AN ADDITIONAL COST

Funerales San Miguel Arcángel
Colonia SutrafcoTel: (504) 2550-3451, (504) 2550-3406, (504) 2550-5607, (504) 2550-5568, (cell) (504) 9715-2087
Administrator(s): Luis Alonso Rivera, Martin Muñoz, Daniel Vallecillo (all available at 504-9565-2251
Email: Sanpedrosula@sanmiguelarcangel.hn
Fax: (504) 2552-3554
PROVIDES ASSISTANCE WITH PAPERWORK AT AN ADDITIONAL COST

A Consular Mortuary Certificate is required when the deceased is being transported to the United States or in transit to another country for burial. In order to issue this certificate the following documents are required:

  • Death Certificate from the Civil Registry.
  • Medical certificate or autopsy report from the attending physician or hospital stating the cause of death.
  • U.S. Passport of the deceased.
  • Honduran Export Permit from the Ministry of Health.
  • Name, address and phone number of the funeral home at final destination.
  • Flight information (Name of airline, date, port of entry, flight number, departure and arrival schedule).
  • A representative from the local funeral home must be present to sign the affidavit of preparation of remains for shipment.

COVID-19 Information:

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.

Many factors may affect the preparation of the deceased’s remains for return to the United States. Because of these many variables, it is best to not make unchangeable plans for ceremonies and other events until the funeral home you are working with can provide a firm timetable.

Here are some estimates of the time various steps of the process may take.

  • Honduras law requires that all foreigners who die in Honduras in the absence of a witness undergo an autopsy to determine the official cause of death. Autopsies usually take 24-48 hours to complete, after which the remains are prepared for shipment to a local funeral home. It takes Honduran officials three to six months to issue the final autopsy results.
  • Delivery to a funeral home, embalming, and the preparation of remains for shipment abroad may take several days, depending on the location of the remains and the schedule of the funeral home.
  • Local authorities may withhold permission to embalm for as long as necessary if they believe the death was as the result of a crime which they need to investigate.
  • Embalmed remains must be transported as cargo, and require processing by the local funeral home and various Honduran offices. Shipping arrangements may take as long as three days.
  • Embalmed remains must be received by a funeral home at the airport in the United States. If a contracted U.S. funeral home is unable to meet a flight, the shipment must be delayed so that it arrives in the U.S. at a time when the mortician can meet the incoming flight.
  • In some cases, no space may be available on outgoing flights for embalmed remains.
  • The Embassy can typically prepare the paperwork necessary to export the remains within one business day, following receipt of proper documentation from the funeral home.

Direct Transfer/Payment to the Funeral Home: If relatives or friends in the United States will bear the associated costs, the quickest means of transmission is to make arrangements directly with the funeral home to transfer funds electronically. Contact the funeral home directly for details, as many accept credit card payment.

In the case where an unaccompanied U.S. citizen dies in Honduras, a U.S. Consular Officer may serve as a provisional conservator of the deceased’s estate. As provisional conservator, the Consular Officer will assist family members by taking possession of the personal belongings until the next-of-kin or legal representative instructs Consular Officer on how to proceed with the effects.

Costs will vary depending on the type of disposition, transportation, quality of caskets or containers and memorial service desired. Some of your options are:

  • Preparation and burial in Honduras ranges from US$ 1,000 to US$ 6,000.
  • Embalming and burial in Honduras ranges from US$ 1,500 to US$ 6,500.
  • Embalming and repatriation to the United States ranges from US$ 3,000 to US$ 5,500.
  • Cremation (repatriation of ashes to the United States optional) ranges from US$ 1,300 to US$ 5,500.