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.

There are several important things that the Next of Kin must do in conjunction with the Embassy. We stand ready to assist you with any of these steps.  The American Citizen Services Unit can:

  • Confirm the death, identity, and U.S. citizenship of the deceased.
  • Notify the next-of-kin.
  • Provide information about the disposition of the remains and personal effects of the deceased.
  • Provide a Consular Report of Death Abroad to the next-of-kin or legal representative.

Any death of a U.S. citizen in Djibouti should be reported immediately to the police and to the Embassy either by email at DjiboutiACS@state.gov or by phone at +253 21 45 30 00.

Deaths of U.S. military members or other DOD personnel should be reported to the appropriate branch of service, not to the Embassy.

When reporting a death, 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. Be sure to give your own name and contact information, especially a phone number so we can contact you if we need additional information.

If Embassy Djibouti learns of the death of an American citizen, the American Citizen Services unit contacts the next-of-kin of the deceased as soon as possible.

In some situations, however, it may not be possible to immediately determine who is the Next of Kin; for example, if someone passes away in a car accident and no ID is found. In situations such as that, we will work with local authorities, the Department of State’s Passport Office and any other resources available to locate and contact the Next of Kin.

Next-of-kin is established in the following order:

  1. Legal spouse
  2. If no spouse, then all children
  3. If no children, then all parents
  4. If no parents, then all siblings
  5. If no siblings, then all grandparents.

The U.S. Embassy issues an administrative document called a Consular Report of Death Abroad that provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the personal estate of a deceased U.S. citizen.

In order to issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad, the American Citizen Services unit must first receive all of the following:

  • The original Djibouti death certificate
  • The original U.S. passport of the deceased

The American Citizen Services unit will then send the Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad to the next of kin.  Please note that a maximum of 20 copies are provided free-of-charge; additional certified copies may be ordered from the Department of State for a fee.

For more information, please refer to the Department of State website.