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How to Transport a dead body from the USA to India?

How to Transport a dead body from the USA to India?
How to Transport a dead body from the USA to India?


07 October, 2022

How to Transport a dead body from the USA to India?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We have no control over where we are born, and unfortunately, most of us cannot control where we will leave this world. However, it’s possible to get someone back to their home state or a place of dear importance for their last rites. How can you do that? What is the procedure? What are the legalities that may follow? Find all your answers in this blog. 

Repatriation Services from USA to India

  1. Passport of the deceased.
  2. Local death certificate.
  3. Embalming certificate.
  4. Freedom from infection certificate.
  5. Permission to bring the person out of the country.
  6. Permit for the country of destination if required.

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Transport a dead body from the USA to India

You may realise that transporting your loved one’s body across countries is required when you have a special destination for them. That’s not very uncommon. Several Indian families in the United States choose to transport their deceased loved ones to their home country.  In fact, a survey by Carnegie Endowment shows that Indian-Americans are the second-largest immigrant group in America constituting over 4.2 million people. 

Transporting a loved ones body may appear to be a difficult process at first, especially given the rush of emotions and complex legal procedures that follow. Here we are to aid in making your loved one’s final journey as smoother as possible. 

Connect with a “Relaible Shipper”

Funeral homes that want to transfer human remains by air must first be approved as “Reliable Shippers” by the U. S. Transportation Security Administration. Ask the funeral home you’re working with if it’s an approved “Relaible Shipper” if you’re planning on air-shipping the body. If it isn’t, you’ll need to look for a funeral home that is.

Taking Care Of The Body

Typically, bodies are transported by cargo planes and picked up at the airport’s cargo terminal by a funeral home representative. You do, however, have the right to escort the body (that is, ship the body on a passenger plane with you), and you may be able to collect the body yourself at the destination.

Getting the Body Ready for Transport

Be aware that certain states require embalming if the body is to leave the state, and some states require embalming if the body is to enter the state. Furthermore, several jurisdictions require embalming if a body is to be transported by “common carrier,” such as an aeroplane, railway, commercial bus, or trucking company.

If your religion forbids embalming, speak with your elderly family relatives to learn more about how your religion thinks about the subject. 

How long does it take to transport a deceased person by air in India? 

Dead body transportation by air from USA to India usually takes 1 to 2 days to arrive at the target airport. The duration of transportation is determined by a number of factors. Here are a few elements that influence travel time.

  • How quickly the doctor can issue a death certificate. When a person dies in a hospital, a death certificate is usually issued swiftly. However, if the death occurs outside of the hospital, it may take a bit longer.
  • In the event of an unnatural death, the body must be subjected to a postmortem examination, which could take up to 5 hours and result in a certificate.
  • The availability of embalming facilities is also significant. If there are no embalming centres in the area, the dead body must be transported to the nearest city to be embalmed. 
  • Few of the destinations will have restricted flight availability; as a result, it may take longer if a flight or cargo service is unavailable.

What documentation are needed to carry a deceased person by air in India?

  1. Death certificate.
  2. Letter of authorization from local police office.
  3. Embalming Certificate 
  4. Coffin Box Certificate
  5. A photograph and an identification card (original passport, driver’s license, or Adhaar card) issued by the appropriate authority.
  6. Contact information and address of the person receiving the body.
  7. No objection Certificate.

Important: All of these documents must be written in English and have at least 6 photocopies.

Importance of each document:

Death Certificate-

Obtaining a death certificate for someone who died in a hospital is simple. However, if the person died at home or somewhere other than a hospital, you should contact a local clinic or nursing home. Even a visiting doctor can issue a death certificate if the deceased had one.

If the death was sudden and natural, you will need to show the doctor the medical papers to prove that it was a natural death. These things can get complex at times.

Police Clearance/No Objection Certificate (NOC)-

Following the receipt of the death certificate, you must notify the nearest police station within your jurisdiction of the requirement for a police NOC (mainly to transport the dead body in a cargo flight).

They may request a variety of documents and ask questions about death, mostly to ensure that death is natural and that no crime has occurred. If they discover that death is not natural, they may pay a visit to the site of death.

Embalming Certificate-

The body must be embalmed and packed in a coffin after receiving the police clearance certificate. The purpose of body embalming is to prevent the body from decomposing by extracting the body fluids and replacing them with chemicals. This can be done at any government hospital or medical school. 

You can have the body cleansed and groomed according to your religious customs once it has been embalmed. After that, the body is placed in a coffin box and sealed. The coffin can be made to your specifications. The Coffin certificate is given after the final inspection. Only then may the dead body be transported on a cargo jet.

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