When a foreigner dies naturally within the Chinese territory, his/her family members, guardian or agent shall, within three days of the death, report to the exit-and-entry department of the local public security organs with the passport of the deceased, the death certificate or document certifying the course of death (provided by the relatives, guardian, or agent), and hand in the deceased’s residence certificate or visa for cancellation.
In case of an unnatural death of a foreigner, the persons concerned or the discoverer shall promptly report to the public security organ. After the criminal investigation department inspects the scene and determines the cause of death, the medical expert will issue the diagnosis certificate, and the notary office will present notarization. After the departments concerned deal with the case, the exit-and-entry department of the public security organs will cancel the visa and residence permit of the deceased.
Issues arising from foreigners’ death will be dealt with by the reception units, where applicable, or the public security bureau together with some departments concerned. Meanwhile, the corpse of the deceased should be given decay-proof treatment and be kept with proper care. Cremation or autopsy shall not be done until the family members of the deceased or the leader of his/her delegation or the embassy or consulates of his/her country in China apply in written form.
The family members of the deceased or their agent shall go through application formalities as stipulated if they wish to ship the corpse out of China. In case of a foreigner’s natural death, the hospital shall provide the death certificate for the deceased; in case of a foreigner’s unnatural death, the public security organ or medical expert from the judicial departments shall provide the diagnosis certificate. The coffin should be shipped together with the death certificate or diagnosis certificate, the antisepsis certificate issued by the hospital, and the permit for shipping coffin with corpse out of China issued by the quarantine and prevention organ. All the above certificates must be prepared in duplicate, one for the public security bureau or reception unit, and the other for the family members of the deceased or the leader of his/her delegation or the embassy or consulate of his/her country in China. If they are to be used abroad, they need to be authenticated by the consular officers.