Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death is a time of crisis for one’s family and friends no matter where it takes place. If death occurs overseas the experience can be even more traumatic, especially if the procedures involved are not clearly understood. When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, a consular officer informs the deceased family about options and costs for disposition of remains. The Consular Section will also prepare a Consular Report of Death Abroad.

Reporting the Death of an American

Any death of a U.S. citizen should be reported immediately to the police and to the Embassy.Deaths of U.S. military members should be reported to the appropriate branch of service, not to the Embassy.
The American Citizen Services Unit can be reached at 590-6950 (from the U.S., 011-962-6-590-5950). After hours, the Embassy duty officer is available through the emergency number at 590-6500 (from the U.S., 011-962-6-590-6950).
When reporting a death to us, if possible, please tell us 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. We also need the full name and phone number of the next of kin if available.
The following is general information about the disposition of remains in Jordan and information on obtaining a Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA):

Funeral Service Providers in Jordan:

Funeral directors and morticians are licensed to practice in Jordan. If you plan on using insurance to pay the cost of repatriation or burial, the Embassy recommends consulting the insurance company directly before contacting the funeral service provider. The following are the names of several funeral service providers in Jordan. In the event of a death of a U.S. citizen, the choice of a service provider and all financial negations is up to the next-of-kin.

DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.
Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of State or the Embassy of the United States of America. The names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information in the list on professional credentials, areas of expertise and language ability are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.

Sameer Al Taweel
Al Taweel Funeral Center
Tel: (+962-6) 4655832
Mobile: (+962-79) 6758682
Mobile: (+962-78) 8122233
E-mail: sameer_taweel@hotmail.com
Address: Abdali, Amman; Rawabi, Amman

Ramzi Bisharat
Funeral Home Center
Tel: (+962-6) 5332367
Fax: (+962-6)5350290
Mobile: (+962-79) 5524680
Address: University of Jordan St., Amman

Amjad Kawar

Tel: (+962-6) 5857311
Fax: (+962-6) 5857312
Mobile: (+962-79) 6570390/ (+962-79) 5911350
E-mail: skc@kawar.org
Address: 60 Ibrahimi Martyrs St.

Preparation and Shipment Services Available in Jordan:

Maximum Period before Interment

Burial must take place within 24 hours following death. In special circumstances, this period maybe extended to 48 hours with a permit from the Ministry of Health. If the body is placed in a refrigerated unit, it is possible under Jordanian law to delay burial up to 72 hours. There are appropriate refrigerators available at government hospitals in Amman, Aqaba, Irbid, Zarqa and Ma’an. The daily rate for refrigeration in public facilities varies between JD 14.00 – JD 15.00, and the daily rate at private hospitals may reach JD 90.00 per day. If the death did not occur in a recognized hospital, local regulations require a government autopsy prior to burial or shipment. These requirements apply regardless of the religion of the deceased.

Embalming

Embalming is available in Jordan, but is not customary, so standards may not be consistent with U.S. practice. The Department of Forensic Pathology of the Ministry of Health, located at Al-Bashir Hospital in Amman, provides facilities for embalming. The cost of embalming by the Department of Forensic Pathology is JD100.00 or approximately $142.00.Such facilities also are available at the University of Jordan Hospital. Embalming is not done for burial in Jordan.

Cremation

Cremation is prohibited due to Islamic law and customs, regardless of the religion of the deceased. There are no cremation services available in Jordan.

Caskets and Containers

When the remains of a deceased person are transported out of the country, they are placed in a zinc-lined coffin which is sealed by soldering. The coffin has a hardwood exterior. Before shipping by air, the coffin is placed in a wooden shipping case. All required containers are readily available locally through the funeral service providers. The caskets and the containers are sealed by a Jordanian Ministry of Health official for customs clearance.

Exportation of Remains

Local requirements for the exportation of human remains are:
1. Embalming of the remains.
2. Enclosure of the remains as described above.
3. Death certificate from the department of Civil Registration.
4. Burial permit from the local health authorities granting permission to export remains.
5. Consular Mortuary Certificate (provided by the Embassy) for shipment of remains to the United States.
6. Affidavit of Funeral Director who witnesses the packing of the remains to the United States, notarized by a U.S. Consular Officer.
7. Transit Permit (provided by the U.S. Embassy)

Costs

All dollar costs have been converted from the cost in local currency at the rate of exchange of 0.708 Jordanian Dinars to $1.00. . These prices may vary significantly at any time, due to the actual exchange rate or other circumstances.
1. LOCAL BURIAL (including documentation, minimal casket, burial plot, and burial)
JD 1,000.00 or $1,413.00

2. PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT (including documentation, embalming, minimal casket, crate, labor, and transportation to airport)
JD 9,000.00 or $12,712.00
3. TRANSPORTATION OUT OF THE COUNTRY
Average weight of casket and containers required for export of remains is 250 Kg. Shipment costs are set by the airlines and vary according to the route and the weight. The average cost varies between JD 9 – JD 15 per kilo.
Total cost for shipping remains to the United States may reach JD 11,682.00 or $16,500.00 depending on the complexity of the case, weight and destination.

Exhumation and Shipment

A body may be disinterred up to one year after burial unless the cause of death was cholera, plague, or yellow fever. To exhume remains, the next-of-kin must make a written request to the Ministry of Health including the he identity of the deceased, the cause of death, and the reason for the exhumation. A Jordanian Medical Officer will issue a written permit and must be present when the grave is opened and the remains packed for shipment.
Because Jordan is a Muslim country, disturbing remains in any manner is a serious and a sensitive undertaking. Consequently, authorization for exhumation must be arranged on a personal basis with the authorities concerned, and both the negotiations and the disinterment must be handled with utmost discretion. It is conceivable that even if written permission to exhume remains has been obtained, no Medical Officer would agree to oversee the disinterment and packing.

Consular Report of Death Abroad

The American Citizen Services (ACS) section issues the official Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA) for all U.S. citizens who pass away in Jordan. The deceased’s family will need this document for various purposes in the United States. This is especially true if the deceased has already been buried in Jordan.
To obtain a CRODA, visit the U.S. Citizens Services appointment system page then select notary and other services. Please bring the following information and documentation to the appointment:

1. Original local death certificate with English translation issued by Jordanian authorities.
2. Original notification of death issued by hospital or doctor with English translation.
3. U.S. passport of the deceased.
4. Social security number of the deceased.
5. Primary residential address in the U.S. and/or country of residence for the deceased.
6. Full name, address and telephone number of next of kin.

For more information on the Consular Report of the Death of an American Abroad, and other services that a consular officer can help you with when a loved one passes away overseas, see the links below.

Additional Resources