What is the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS travel authorization?

The Schengen visa and the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver are both documents required for travel to the Schengen zone. However, the travel document required depends on both nationality and the intended period of travel to Europe.

Eligible passport holders from 60 counties, including American citizens, will be required to complete an ETIAS visa application for travel to France and other Schengen countries for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period. The ETIAS visa waiver is valid for a total period of 3 years or, if it happens previous to ETIAS expiry, until the corresponding passport expires

Those who intend to spend more than 90 consecutive days in the Schengen Area or are not from an ETIAS-eligible country will be required to apply for the Schengen Visa or another visa for Europe type.

The Schengen visa is not automated like the ETIAS system and eligible travelers will need to apply at least six weeks in advance of travel to Europe. It will be necessary to submit a visa application to an embassy or consulate of the first Schengen country to be visited, and the process may include providing supporting documentation and an in-person interview.