Funeral Homes and Mortuaries Used by U.S. Citizens in Egypt
Funeral Directors and Morticians are licensed to practice in Egypt by the General Department of Properties, Mortician’s and Funeral Director’s Council available at each governorate. Some insurance companies may require that repatriation of remains be arranged by a specific Egyptian Funeral Director or Mortician. If you plan on using insurance to pay the cost of repatriation, the embassy recommends consulting the insurance company directly before contacting the funeral service provider. The Embassy maintains a list of funeral homes and mortuaries in Egypt that have worked with U.S. citizens in the past.
Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
Burying the Remains in Egypt
When a U.S. citizen dies in Egypt and the next-of-kin would like to bury the remains in Egypt, they might need a permission letter from the Embassy.
The Next-of-Kin should contact the Embassy using the U.S. Citizen Services Navigator. The navigator will ask a series of simple questions to provide you with instructions on how to contact us concerning the death of an U.S. Citizen in Egypt—whether you require immediate emergency assistance or are following up the issuance of a Consular Report of Death Abroad for a loved one.
When a dual nationality (Egyptian/American) dies in Egypt and the next-of-kin would like to bury the remains in Egypt, there will be no need for the permission letter if the next-of-kin will use the deceased Egyptian ID.
Maximum Period before Interment
When a body is embalmed, Egyptian law specifies no particular time period before burial.
When a body is not embalmed, local law requires its burial within 24 hours. The requirement may be waived for exceptional reasons (such as waiting for instructions from abroad), or if an autopsy is required.
Adequate facilities exist for embalming. Local law specifies that embalming should begin within 24 hours after death has occurred at the latest.
There are several local mortuary establishments in Cairo, but few of them are interested in accepting responsibility for preparing and returning to the United States remains of deceased Americans. The Embassy deals with the qualified morticians in Cairo listed above.
While basic treatment of remains is usually handled in government morgues or hospitals, the funeral homes secure authorization for embalming as required by local authorities. They work closely with the Embassy to prepare and/ or secure documentation required for exportation of remains.
Local law does not prohibit cremation but there are no official facilities available in Egypt for that purpose. There is one unofficial facility in Alexandria that has been used in the past but only after obtaining extensive permissions from both the Interior and Health Departments in Egypt.
Cremation remains problematic in Egypt, and American citizens are encouraged to pursue alternate available means of disposition of the remains of their loved ones, such as repatriation or burial.
Caskets and Containers
When the remains of a deceased person are to be 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 undertakers. The caskets and the containers are sealed by the Egyptian Ministry of Health official for customs clearance.
Exportation of Remains
Local requirements for the exportation of human remains are:
- Embalming of the remains.
- Enclosure of the remains as described above.
- Copy of official death certificate from Egyptian health authorities.
- Embalming certificate (Form A or B) from health authorities.
- Burial permit from the local health authorities.
- American Consular Mortuary Certificate for shipment of remains to the United States.
- Affidavit of Funeral Director for witnessing the packing of the remains to the United States, notarized by an American Consul.
- Expedition Permit of Human Remains