What Happens When an Australian Citizen Dies Overseas?

Losing a loved one is always difficult, but when the unfortunate event happens while someone is traveling or living overseas, it can be overwhelming. As an Australian citizen, you may wonder about the process and what happens in such situations. In this blog post, we will explore the procedures and requirements when an Australian citizen dies overseas.

1. First Steps

When an Australian citizen passes away abroad, the initial steps involve contacting the nearest Australian embassy or consulate. They will provide guidance on what needs to be done and offer assistance during the entire process.

2. Consular Services

The Australian embassy or consulate will notify the next of kin and provide support in dealing with local authorities and funeral arrangements. They can help with documentation, such as a death certificate and a consular certificate, which facilitates the repatriation of the deceased back to Australia.

3. Repatriation of the Deceased

Bringing the deceased back to Australia involves several steps, including embalming and obtaining the necessary permits. The embassy or consulate will coordinate with local authorities and liaise with the funeral director chosen by the family. It's important to note that the costs associated with repatriation are generally the responsibility of the deceased person's family.

4. Registering the Death

Once the deceased arrives in Australia, the death must be registered with the local registry of births, deaths, and marriages. This is a legal requirement and ensures that the necessary paperwork is completed.

5. Funeral Arrangements

After the death is registered, the family can proceed with making funeral arrangements. They may choose to engage the services of a funeral home to assist with the process, including organizing the burial or cremation, and preparing any required documentation.


Q: Does travel insurance cover repatriation of remains?

A: In most cases, travel insurance policies do offer coverage for repatriation of remains. However, it is crucial to review the specific terms and conditions of the policy to ensure this coverage is included.

Q: Can the Australian government assist with funeral expenses?

A: The Australian government generally does not provide financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred overseas. It is advisable to consult with the deceased person's private health insurance or travel insurance provider to explore any available coverage.

Q: What if the deceased had no travel insurance?

A: If the deceased did not have travel insurance, the responsibility for all costs associated with repatriation and funeral arrangements typically falls on the family.

Dealing with the death of an Australian citizen overseas can be a complex and emotional process. It is important to seek support from the nearest Australian embassy or consulate, who can provide guidance and assistance throughout. Remember to review any insurance policies and consult with professionals to ensure the necessary procedures are followed and decisions are made in the best interest of the deceased and their family.