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I have an approved ESTA for tourism which and I will use to travel to the US with my wife for our honeymoon.

For an academic conference, I'm required to travel to the US one month later. This is within the validity period of the ESTA but clearly is business rather than tourism. Do I require a separate ESTA (or visa) for this business trip?

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Short version: No, you don't need a new ESTA.

Longer version: Since you have an ESTA, you are presumably the citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country. This means you are allowed to enter the US "for a purpose of transit, tourism, or a short term business visit", which includes both your honeymoon and your academic conference.

The ESTA is, in legal theory, not a visa, it's just a "travel authorization" that pre-certifies that you likely meet the VWP conditions. It's valid for unlimited visits for any valid reason during its two years of validity, assuming you continue to meet the VWP terms.

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    So if I understand correctly, a given ESTA is not issued against a particular purpose, and subsequent visits may be for transit, tourism or business? – Conrad Aug 15 '16 at 14:26
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    Yes, an ESTA is valid for its duration (2 years) for any kind of trip to the US "for a purpose of transit, tourism, or a short term business visit" – David Brossard Aug 15 '16 at 16:39

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