The procedure of obtaining a Russian residence permit (green card) is generally the same for all nationals: Americans, Canadians, Indians, or South Africans.
An applicant is required to confirm at least basic knowledge of Russian language, history and law, get necessary medical certificates and prepare a package of documents. The exact list of the required documents may differ depending on the specific situation. Some categories of applicants are exempt from the language test and may enjoy a simplified application procedure.
When everything is ready, an applicant has to submit all the documents to a local office of migration authorities. Application processing usually takes 2-4 months.