The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It is an island nation, spanning an archipelago including Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border with another sovereign state, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea.
The UK is a developed country, with the world\'s sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity. It was the world\'s first industrialized country and the world\'s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs.
The UK nevertheless remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a recognized nuclear weapons state while its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world, depending on the method of calculation. It is a Member State of the European Union, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, G8, G20, NATO, OECD and the World Trade Organization.
- General Visitor: If you want to visit the UK as a tourist or to stay with friends in the UK, you should apply to come here as a general visitor.
- Family Visitor: If you want to visit members of your family in the UK, you can apply to come here as a family visitor.
- Business Visitor: If you want to do business in the UK, you should apply to come here as a business visitor. This includes academic visitors, and doctors undertaking clinical attachments or the PLAB test.
- Sport Visitor: If you want to take part in any sporting events in the UK, you might be able to come here as a sports visitor or a visitor undertaking permitted paid engagements.