(Also known as United States Department of State Form Number DS 2060)
By Harold E. Nester Worldwide Resources Inc. Insurance Claim Investigations
Recently we have been assisting a life insurance company in processing a death of a Green Card Holder who left the United States on a pleasure trip to his country of birth. While in that country, the Philippines, he died a natural death.
We have for several years now, taken notice of a change the U.S. Department of State made to one of their forms. The form that I speak of is titled, Report of “Death of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad”. Originally this form was titled “Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad” Both of these forms are numbered DS 2060. An extension is added to the form number for revisions.
The form Labeled “Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad” was used when a United States Citizen died in an area outside of the United States or its territories. We have seen many of these documents cross our desks while in the process of completing insurance claim investigations and as you can imagine this new form “Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad” was noted immediately. We suspect this form was slowly introduced by the Department of State, or just as previous forms became depleted in the Consulates around the world.
When we noticed the new form, we contacted a Consulate that we have worked with on a regular basis in completing verification investigations and learned that Green Card holders were being included with U.S. Citizens as being entitled to this service. We then accepted this as the new practice and new law.
Let me provide some definitions of terms at this point:
- A Foreign National is a person who is not a citizen of the host country in which he or she is residing or temporarily sojourning. Example, a Foreign National in the United States is someone who is neither a citizen of the U.S. nor a Permanent Resident of the United States.
- A Green Card Holder, common terminology, is a Foreign National who has been granted the status of a Permanent Resident of the United States.
- A Non-Citizen National is an individual who was born in American Samoa or Swains Island only. Some consider the term Non-Citizen National a Historical Anomaly. Citizens of the Philippines had this status until at least 1934. Unlike Puerto Rico and Guam, the United States never intended to keep the Philippines, at the time of the Treaty of Paris, as a territory. As defined by the United States Department of State, A Non-Citizen National under U.S. law is neither a citizen nor an alien but one who owes permanent loyalty to the United States.
As originally stated in this writing, the case being worked in the Philippines became the beginning of our learning the true purpose of this form. Relatives of the deceased stated that they had approached the U.S. Consulate in Manila in an attempt to report the death of their relative, who was a green card holder in the United States. The family was told by the Consulate that “Death of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad” was not completed for Green Card holders. Our customer reported this to us, and we began an inquiry with the Department of State. After several hours on the telephone with various offices at the U.S. Department of State, we have learned the true intent of this form and the reason for its revision. This form, per Department of State Officials at the office of Overseas Citizens Services, was created for the use of the State Department, specifically for deaths of those who are Non-Citizen Nationals.
This document “Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad” was created by our government, for the 54,194 residents of American Samoa and the 17, yes 17 residents of Swains Island. Officials insist that the Consulates that are using this form to report Permanent Residents, (or Green Card Holders) deaths are using it improperly. The U.S. Department of State has no form or responsibility for reporting the deaths of Permanent Residents who die outside the United States or its Territories.
When receiving these forms a proof of death they must never be relied upon as proof positive, but only as part of the verification of the death during the investigation. They must always be verified with the U.S. Department of State. Websites exist where it is possible to fraudulently complete and print this form with any identification information someone may choose to enter.
If you have questions about this topic or any issue involving foreign or contestable claim investigations, please feel free to contact us at the number provided here or on our website at: