Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has submitted a second application to travel to Quebec after Canadian authorities rejected his first request. The announcement was made in a press conference by Puigdemont's Canadian lawyer, Stéphane Handfield, and the president of Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal (SSJB), Maxime Laporte.
Puigdemont's team, they say, has applied again for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), an entry requirement for certain visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada. The aim is for him to be able to visit Quebec from 10th to 14th June. The SSJB says it will "very closely" monitor the response from the Canadian immigration ministry. During the press conference, Handfield said that this time, so far, the procedure is "going well".
Originally, the Catalan president had planned to visit Quebec at the start of April this year. During the trip, he was to hold a press conference and visit the SSJB. Catalan authorities, however, rejected his application for travel the day before he was due to leave. They gave no explanation for their decision to revoke Puigdemont's travel permission at the last minute. Prime minister Justin Trudeau, however, did say that his government was not involved and the decision was taken by immigration ministry civil servants.
Also today, Canadian newspaper La Presse has reported (in French) that Puigdemont was conned in his initial application. According to the report, instead of applying directly through the immigration ministry website, Puigdemont sought his eTA through a private company which charges C$93 (£53; $69) instead of the government's C$7.
The newspaper writes that after Canada had granted Puigdemont permission to travel, it sent him a "letter of procedural fairness" asking for certain additional information and saying his request was suspended in the meantime. The company in question didn't forward this to Puigdemont, who therefore never provided the necessary document. The company never told the president his request had been put on hold, simply that it had been revoked and the government wouldn't say why.