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When someone dies overseas

If you're travelling outside New Zealand and someone who is travelling with you dies, contact the nearest NZ embassy or Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade office.

If someone dies overseas

NZ embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) can give local burial or cremation options, and advice on how you can bring back the body or ashes. Any costs must be paid for by the family.

Death overseas

You can get an urgent passport if a family member has died and you need to travel urgently to get to their funeral.

Urgent travel

Deposit an overseas death certificate

If you want to, you can deposit an overseas death certificate with Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) if the deceased person was:

  • a New Zealand citizen, or
  • ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

The death certificate must be:

  • issued from outside New Zealand
  • the original (not a copy or PDF)
  • translated, if not in English.


Before you deposit an overseas death certificate, it is important to understand that:

  • this is optional
  • it is not a registration of death
  • BDM keep the certificate on file – it is not returned.

To apply:

  • complete the form below
  • pay the fee of NZD$55.

Deposit an overseas death certificate BDM42 (PDF 54KB)

Request a statement from the Registrar-General

For an additional fee of NZD$25 you can request a written statement from the Registrar-General.

This document states that:

  • the death certificate has been deposited, and
  • the Registrar-General is not responsible for the authenticity of the death certificate, nor the truth of any information contained in the death certificate.

Who to contact for more help

If you need more help or have questions about the information or services on this page, contact one of the following agencies.

Utility links and page information

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