Well, I sent a message to a professor asking for an opportunity in its research group aiming to start my Ph.D. (in a major university, top 25 in the world). I sent as attached files my résumé, my research papers as usual on this kind of messages (but I sent the mail with no hope to be answered). Nonetheless, in four hours (in a Saturday if this information helps to the analysis), I have received a response stimulating me to apply (and saying that they are always looking for good students to do research there) and copying this answer to de Ph.D. coordinator program. However, as I sent this message just to know about my chances (before, I have read his papers and résumé of course) I was planning to apply to the Ph.D. only at the end of 2018 (but that answer really surprised me). So the questions are:
1) Is that answer usual? I mean, answering me and "ccing" the Ph.D. coordinator is a good sign or not? Or is this a polite way to answer me? Usually, if your résumé is really good, the professors schedule a call by phone or skype (or is this not a standard?)
2) How to inform them that I would like to apply to de Ph.D. only at the end of next year (because I don't have all the documents and the deadline to apply is December 15th), without prejudice about our conversations?
3) What are the next steps? (any suggestion will be kindly appreciated). I confess I'm quite lost how to proceed.