Death of a U.S. Citizen

The death of a loved one is difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the laws and procedures of the local country.  The U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik provides guidance to grieving family members on how to make arrangements for local burial or return of the remains to the United States.  The disposition of remains is affected by local laws, customs, and facilities, which may be vastly different from those in the United States.

Who do I Contact If an American dies in Iceland?

If you are in Iceland, you should report the death of a U.S. citizen in Iceland to local authorities by calling Icelandic emergency services at 112 (Iceland’s equivalent of 911).  Please also contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland as soon as possible.  The death can be reported during working hours (8:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday) by calling +354 595-2200.  If the death occurs outside of regular working hours, please contact the Embassy at +354-595-2248 (dial 011 first if calling from the United States).

Role of the Embassy when an American dies in Iceland

In the event that a U.S. citizen dies in Iceland there are several things the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik may do to assist the grieving family members.  In cases where the deceased U.S. citizen has no close family in Iceland at the time of death, the U.S. Embassy will notify the next-of-kin about the death and secure the deceased U.S. citizen’s personal effects.  The U.S. Embassy will provide guidance to the next-of-kin on how to make arrangements for local burial or return of remains to the United States and can relay instructions for disposition of remains to the local funeral home.  In all instances, the U.S. Embassy prepares an official Consular Report of Death Abroad, based upon the local death certificate, and sends it to the next-of-kin or legal representative for use in United States courts to settle estate matters.

The U.S. Embassy has no funds to assist in the return of remains or ashes of U.S. citizens who die abroad.


Additional information may be found in our Disposition of Remains Report (PDF 95 KB), or by contacting the U.S. Embassy by email at