What the average timeline for a "sponsor to be approved and application sent to ND" once the application process has begun ?
The Sponsorship Approval part happens first, after you submit the application to CPC (Case Processing Center) -Mississauga.
They will send the sponsor an email or postal mail about sponsorship approval. That is Step1.
The timelines for Step-1 can be found in CIC website (average 48 days)http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/perm-fc.asp
It also says currently they are working on applications received till January 3, 2012. It gets updated every Wednesday (once in a week).
That timeline is pretty accurate.
The Step-2 happens in your Visa Office (If the sponsored person has Indian passport or lives in India, its New Delhi)
On an average New Delhi takes about 6 months to complete their process from the day it receives the application from Mississauga (for 80% of the cases).http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/perm/fc-spouses.asp#asia
New Delhi (shortly called ND) will also update the E-CAS (Electronic Client Application Status), which can be accessed by either the File Number sent by the Mississauga on approval along with the sponsored person's status Or with the ClientID of the Sponsor (which can be found on his/her PR card) along with sponsor's details.https://services3.cic.gc.ca/ecas/?app=ecas&lang=en
ND will start processing your application based on the queue.
When ND receives your application, E-CAS status will be Application Received (the date will be the app received date by Mississauga though)
ND will request to send your passport after few days (30 to 60 days) Its called Passport Request (PPR).
It MAY update your status to "In Process" after you send your passport (in around 20-30 days after PPR) or it may not.
ND may also ask for additional documents (like photographs, phone bills, etc).
ND may call you for an interview (either telephonic or in person interview).
ND finalizes your application and E-CAS status will be updated to Decision Made (DM), in some cases, it may not get updated in e-CAS too (approximately 30-60 days after PPR).
ND will send your passport with visa in registered postal mail.