Transporting Human Remains from the US to Mexico
With the increase in immigration to the United States from Mexico, there have been more and more requests for deceased family members to be brought back to their hometown for burial. In 2007, there were 10, 622 recorded shipments of bodies from the US to Mexico, and this number has only been increasing.
When transporting a deceased person to Mexico, it is important to first contact the Mexican Embassy in order to inform them of your plans and to be sure that you are following the correct procedures. After this, you should contact the receiving funeral home to make all the necessary arrangements with them.
As far as the legal documentation goes, this is what is required by the Mexican and American authorities:
1. Notarized and apostilled certified copy of the Death Certificate- This comes from the funeral director.
2. Burial Transit Permit (+ 1 copy)- This is required in order to transport a body out of the state or country or for cremation. It will be given to the family member by the local or deputy registrar in the district where the death occurred once the Certificate of Death has been completed.
3. Apostilled statement from the embalmer- It should state the embalmer’s license number, name of the deceased, and the treatment applied to the body.
4. Statement that the body does not carry any communicable diseases
5. Official coroner’s statement- This document is only necessary if the death certificate does not state the cause of death.
(Apostilles authenticates a document so that it will be accepted by a foreign country.)
It is also important to note that all documents must be translated into Spanish by a certified translator.
The documents can be brought or mailed to the Mexican consulate. If they are mailed, the packet needs to include a self-addressed and stamped envelope from the family member responsible for the body. It usually takes about one business day to process everything.
Once arrangements have been made by the funeral home with the airline carrier and the body has been placed in a casket and a suitable outer container (mcdonaldcontainers.com/trays), it is ready for transportation.
For more information, visit the Consular Section of Embassy of Mexico: portal.sre.gob.mx
The NFDA: nfda.org
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