Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death of U.S. Citizens in Latvia

If, unfortunately, a U.S. citizen dies in Latvia, the death should be reported immediately to the Consular Section. In cases of unexpected or accidental death, a consular officer may be required to take immediate action. Assistance in case of an emergency is available to U.S. citizens 24 hours a day.

If a next-of-kin was not with the U.S. citizen at the time of their death, we will notify them of that and work with them to carry out their wishes with regard to burial or repatriation of the body.

With the next-of-kin’s permission, the Consular Section can act as a liaison between the family and local authorities. We will prepare the necessary documents to allow the family to return the body to the United States, if that is their wish.

Consular Report of Death Abroad

The U.S. Embassy in Riga issues a Consular Report of Death Abroad for all U.S. citizens who die in Latvia. This document is intended for use in the United States, and it is based on the Latvian death certificate, the deceased’s U.S. passport, and information provided by their relatives. The deceased’s family should contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Riga for more information.

COVID-19 Special Requirements

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

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

Disposition of Remains Report: Latvia

The Consular Section prepares the Disposition of Remains Report for Latvia that is updated every three years. It describes the local requirements for burial, cremation, embalming, preparation of remains for shipment, transportation to the United States, exhumation of remains, the price range for each service, and similar relevant information. To read the report, click here. (PDF – 165 kB)

Additional Resources