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I submitted a paper to an international conference, but the registration fees were initially undetermined. Once the list of accepted papers was published, the conference website provided information about the registration fees with some reductions offered for participants from low-income countries. However, two weeks later, the registration details were unexpectedly changed, and no reduction is now available. This situation has left me unable to participate, even though I had already committed to preparing and submitting my camera-ready paper based on the previous registration information.

Given these circumstances, I am contemplating whether it would be appropriate to communicate with the conference editors to request a reinstatement of the reduction option.

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Yes, given all the circumstances you list it would be perfectly reasonable and proper to ask for a reduction.

The change in rules was either an accident or, sadly, evidence that something is wrong. Are you sure that it is reputable and respected? If not, you might consider withdrawing your paper.

I'd also worry, at least a bit, if they make no accommodation.

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    The change of rules might have come about after rechecking the budget, the various costs of the conference and the number of people qualified for the reduction. Still perfectly reasonable to ask though.
    – quarague
    Aug 28, 2023 at 9:06
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In computer science, conference often offer financial support to folks in your situation. There should be an option to contact the conference chairs, you should tell them exactly what you wrote here - especially that your plans relied on an initial written promise for financial support.

Conferences also sometimes have student volunteer/doctoral mentoring programs that offer your discounts on registration in exchange for sitting at a booth and handing out badges (you get a free T-shirt too!).

Contacting your university and asking if they can help is also an option.

Finally, some organizations offer travel grants (e.g. the NSF offers travel grants on a first-come first-serve basis, and some professional organizations such as ACM or IEEE offer ad-hoc support).

If you cannot get funding, contact the chairs and ask if participation is a necessary condition for paper acceptance. It may be possible that they will allow you to present remotely, or ask you to find someone who will present your work in your absence. Both aren't great choices, but are probably the best in your circumstances.

Good luck!

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