I'm going to defend my dissertation soon and the school has a strict requirement for allowing remote defense. Under highly unusual circumstances they'll approve a remote defense, and they said convenience is not enough for justification, but "travel restrictions" are.
Right now I am out of the country and to be honest, the true reason why I want to apply for a remote defense are:
a) The flight ticket is extremely expensive and with great uncertainty, last time it took me some 5k USD to fly back to my home country (it's the lowest price I can get in 6 months), not to mention that required quarantine took me another 2k. Now it might be even more expensive considering that it's going to be a round trip, I probably need to budget of 20k or higher this time for just a round trip since there's aggregated quarantine requirement to get back to my country.
b) The flight might be canceled for no reason and it's not a random thing. As far as I know, they have canceled more than half the number of the planned flight this year. No one can guarantee that I can fly to the school nor back.
c) There's no guarantee that I can get back once I finished my defense. Say, if I get infected by COVID, I will have to wait for another 6 months before I can get back to my country, according to its policy. No exceptions are allowed. This will be another huge money issue, plus, if I get a job in my country I would not be able to return to my country and meet the job requirement on time, given a quarantine requirement of at least 28 days.
I don't know if the money issue sounds compelling but I guess that's not the one that will make the graduate school easily say yes? I don't know. Things are changing as of COVID policies and my country has a really strict one. I really don't want to take the risk and do something that is foreseeable of low probability. I'm not sure if the school cares about whether I can get back to my country or how expensive and difficult the whole procedure is going to be.
Many thanks in advance.