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Death of a U.S. Citizen

When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, a consular officer notifies the deceased’s family and informs them about options and costs for disposition of the remains. Costs for preparing and returning the remains to the U.S. must be paid by the family.

A Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad is:

  • An administrative document that provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the personal estate of the deceased U.S. citizen issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Generally used in legal proceedings in the United States as proof of death.
  • Based on the foreign death certificate, and cannot be completed until the foreign death certificate is issued and final disposition of remains (name of cemetery or where ashes remain) is stated.

If you are a relative of a deceased U.S. Citizen in Guatemala and need a Consular Report of Death Abroad, the following documents should be brought to the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy:

  • Original death certificate from the Guatemalan Civil Registry (RENAP). In case the name in the Guatemalan death certificate is different from the U. S. passport, you will be required to bring proof of the legal name change, such as marriage certificate, divorce decree, original RENAP birth certificate stating the legal name change, etc. The Consular Report of Death Abroad is issued according to the name in the U.S. passport.
  • Copy of INACIF report (should include doctor´s name, stamp, and signature)
  • The completed form DS-2060 (PDF – 471KB)  “Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen”. (Specify the burial cemetery or the ashes’ final destination).
  • The deceased’s U.S. passport. If the passport is lost or stolen, a police report needs to be submitted.
  • The deceased’s Social Security number.
  • The Next of Kin’s valid identification with photo. The Next of Kin must provide proof of relationship to the deceased, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc. And/or fill out form DS-5511 “Affidavit for the surviving spouse of Next of Kin”. (The form DS-5511 cannot be notarized by a local Notary Public, it must be signed before a U.S. Consul at the U. S. Embassy in Guatemala).

This is a walk-in service; you do not need an appointment to obtain a Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad. You can come to the U.S. Embassy Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 11:30am and from 1:00 to 3:00pm and Friday from 7:30to 11:30am. Your process will be delayed if you are missing any of the requested documents. The 20 originals will be ready in approximately 10 business days.