There are several differences between ETIAS and a traditional visa. Firstly, ETIAS is an travel authorization that can be obtained exclusively through an online application. There is no need to go to an Embassy or Consulate to apply, as is the case with most traditional visa options.
Unlike most visas, the ETIAS authorization eliminates the need for a paper travel document. ETIAS is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport, meaning no need to print any paper copies.
Finally, while most visas are only valid for travel to a single country, the ETIAS authorization allows travelers access to all 26 countries in the Schengen Area. It is valid for a total of 3 years and allows multiple entries to countries across Europe, for a maximum stay of 80 days within any 180-day period.