Updated: June 2021
In the event of the death of an American Citizen in Mongolia, please contact the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Mongolia. During regular business hours, please contact us at 976-7007-6001 or by email at UlaanbaatarACS@state.gov.
Please immediately report the death of any U.S. citizen to the police and to the U.S. Embassy. Please be prepared to provide as much information as possible relating to the deceased individual, to include:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth
- Date and place of death (e.g. name and address of the hospital)
- Cause of death (if known)
- Most recent U.S. passport number
- Social Security Number
- Military I.D. number (if applicable)
- Name and contact details of the next of kin
- Most recent address in America
The U.S. Embassy can assist family and friends in the event of the death of a U.S. Citizen in Mongolia, following instructions of next of kin and in accordance with all applicable U.S. and local laws. Embassy services include:
- Finding and notifying the next-of-kin
- Acting as a liaison with local police, hospital and mortuary authorities
- Arranging for the disposition and repatriation of remains
- Coordinating administrative and financial requirements
- Assisting in the collection and return of personal effects to next-of-kin
- Issuing a “ Report of Death of American Citizen Abroad” .
Notification of Next-of-Kin
As soon as the Embassy learns of the death of a U.S. citizen in Mongolia, we will work as quickly as possible to identify and contact the next-of-kin. We will ask next-of-kin to:
- Sign, notarize, and return an Affidavit of Next-of-Kin “here (here)
- Choosing a method of disposition of remains
- Arranging payment of mortuary and related expenses in Mongolia
- Provide instructions for handling personal effects the deceased
Affidavit of Next-of-Kin and Letter of Instruction
The Embassy will make every effort to carry out the instructions of the next-of-kin. In general, the law regards next-of-kin to be the spouse, the adult children, the parent(s), or the siblings of the deceased.
Next-of-kin must complete an (Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Next of Kin) have it notarized, and then return it to us both electronically (by email/fax) and in hard-copy (mail or courier). This affidavit legally identifies the next-of-kin so that we may assist with the disposition of remains and provisional disposition of personal effects. This affidavit does not replace or supersede instructions provided in a will, probate, and/or litigation in determining the final disposition of the decedent’s effects, possessions, and/or funds. Our contact information is:
U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar, Denver Street #3
Ulaanbaatar 14190, Mongolia
E-mail: UlaanbaatarACS@state.gov UlaanbaatarACS@state.gov
Disposition of Remains
U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar
Denver Street #3
Ulaanbaatar 14190, Mongolia
The U.S. government estimates the total population at 3.2 million (midyear 2019 estimate). In the 2010 census (the most recent), 53 percent of individuals ages 15 and older self-identify as Buddhist, 3 percent as Muslim, 2.9 percent as Shamanist, and 2.1 percent as Christian. Another 38.6 percent state they have no religious identity. According to the president’s advisor on cultural and religious policy, the majority of Buddhists are Mahayana Buddhists. Many individuals practice elements of shamanism in combination with other religions, particularly Buddhism. The majority of Christians are Protestant; other Christian groups include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Roman Catholic Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Unification Church). Other religious groups, such as the Baha’i Faith, also have a presence. The ethnic Kazakh community, located primarily in the northwest, is majority Muslim.
- The Major mortuary used by U.S. citizens is Ulaanbaatar Buyan Company.
- Phone: 7016-2222
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Web-site: http://ulaanbaatarbuyan.mn/
This company provides embalming, cremation and burial services in Mongolia. The cost of embalming and burial service in Mongolia is approximately $4,600. The cost of cremation and placing the urn permanently in a Columbarium in Mongolia is approximately $2,300
DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by this company. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the morticians and other service providers.
A. By law, autopsies are required whenever a death of a foreigner occurs in Mongolia. Autopsies are only done in Ulaanbaatar city at the National Institute of Forensic Science of Mongolia. Next of kin must bear this expense. Although initial results take a few days, full autopsy results are not available for up to three weeks after the completion of the examination. Autopsies and their results will likely fall short of U.S. standards.
B. The U.S. Embassy works with local providers to carry out the wishes of next-of-kin as quickly and professionally as possible. However, in most cases, embalming and mortuary services in Mongolia will fall short of U.S. standards however, it will be compliant with U.S. import regulations. The Embassy recommends that next of kin consult a U.S. funeral director to determine the advisability of viewing the remains and of conducting an open casket funeral. Local laws impose no specific period or deadline by which time the remains must be embalmed, cremated, or buried.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.
C. The Government of Mongolia has made a regulation that persons who died as a result of COVID-19 must be cremated. Family members are not permitted to do death rituals or ceremonies, including funerals. Remains may be shipped internationally at the time of publication. The cost of cremation is approximately $1,600 (does not include placing the urn permanently in a columbarium).
D. The Embassy has identified one shipping company that is specialized in shipping remains to the U.S. and preparing appropriate customs declarations, the company is Tuushin International Freight Forwarders. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia will provide an official letter to the Mongolian Customs Agency to request export of the remains of Mongolia to be imported to the U.S.
There are two options for disposition of remains:
- Cremation and shipment for internment in the United States (Point of Entry Washington D.C.) – cost is pending.
- Embalming and shipment for internment in the United States (Point of Entry Washington D.C.) – cost is pending.
Please note, shipment of remains is only possible from Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar.
E. The City Mayor’s offices are responsible for licensing funeral directors and morticians.
F. The Civil registration Office of Mongolia will issue local death certificates based on autopsy reports of the National Institute of Forensic Science of Mongolia.
Local laws impose no specific period or deadline by which time the remains must be embalmed, cremated, or buried.
Caskets and containers appropriate for the importation of remains to the U.S. are available at local mortuaries.
By law, autopsies are required whenever a death occurs in Mongolia. Next of kin must bear this expense. Although initial results take a few days, full autopsy results are not available for up to three weeks after the completion of the examination. Autopsies and their results will likely fall short of U.S. standards.
Because the timing and duration of autopsies, embalming and casket-building, customs declarations, and other required services can vary greatly in Mongolia, the Embassy recommends that next of kin remain flexible when planning funeral ceremonies in the United States. In general, it is best to schedule such ceremonies only after the Embassy can finalize and confirm that the date the remains will arrive in the United States.
The Embassy cannot authorize the preparation of remains until sufficient funds are received. The deceased’s next of kin or legal representative must pay all autopsy costs and funeral preparation expenses, as well as the shipping costs of the remains and any personal effects. Those lacking a personal representative in Mongolia can set up an “Overseas Citizens Services Trust” with the Department of State. The Embassy can use the money in this account to pay expenses on behalf of the decedent’s family. We can also coordinate all required mortuary services.
By law, the Department of State cannot carry out any next of kin instructions regarding disposition of remains until sufficient funds are received. There are several methods for setting up an Overseas Citizens Services Trust; see instructions on Sending Money to U.S. Citizens Overseas.
Once funds are received, it takes at least seven days to ship the remains and personal effects. After all mortuary and shipping services are paid for and rendered, the Embassy will conduct an itemized accounting of final costs and refund any balance in the trust via United States Treasury check.
Return of Personal Effects
The Embassy can, in some limited circumstances, take charge of the decedent’s personal effects and possessions if instructed to do so by the next-of-kin. However, if the deceased has a friend, employer, or family member present in Mongolia at the time of death, such individuals may also handle the personal effects.
Regardless of whether the Embassy takes charge of the personal effects, we can conduct a thorough inventory and send a copy to the next-of-kin. We can also send any items to the United States via the United States Postal Service at the family’s expense; however, computers or other electronic items may be difficult or impossible to ship due to international mailing restrictions. Most families decide to donate items of little sentimental or monetary value (clothing, suitcases, kitchenware, etc.) to a local charity in order to avoid the large expense involved in returning these items to the United States. The Embassy can arrange for this charitable donation on the family’s behalf. However, the Embassy cannot select the charity.
If the death occurs outside of Ulaanbaatar, and consular staff are not present, local authorities may take the inventory of personal effects. Consular staff will endeavor to preserve the personal effects, but cannot be responsible for any losses that occur.
In cases where the estate of the deceased exceeds $1,000 in value, the Embassy will require more detailed legal documents, such as Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, prior to releasing money or effects to the next-of-kin.
Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad
The “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” is an official report, in English, that provides the essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. citizen in a foreign country. It functions in much the same way as a death certificate issued in the United States does, and can be used to close bank accounts, file insurance claims, and settle other estate matters. The Embassy normally provides 20 free copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad. Families may order additional certified copies from the Department of State for a fee.
However, the Mongolian death certificate must be issued before the Embassy can issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad. Death certificates, in turn, require a local autopsy and hence can take one to several weeks to be completed.
In the event of death of a U.S. citizen, the Embassy will provide up to three sets of documents:
- Twenty copies of the “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” (free)
- An original Mongolian Death Certificate with a translated English copy (free)
- An original Autopsy Report with a translated English copy (at the next-of-kin’s expense; this document can take 3 to 4 months to provide)