John S. Brendel

Bar/Court Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1976
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Comparative International Law Fellowship, 1976-77
  • B.A., with distinction in all subjects, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University, 1973

John has been practicing business and employment immigration law for more than 35 years and helps companies traverse the obstacles of conducting operations in a global marketplace. He is a Director of Cohen & Grigsby and a member of the Immigration and International Business Groups.

John assists clients with a wide range of issues related to employment related and investment related immigration. He has handled inbound immigration for international individuals wanting to work or invest in the United States.

His experience is in addressing matters that pertain to alien investors and “H-1B Dependent” employers, along with scientists, engineers and physicians who have come to work in the United States for all immigrant (permanent) and nonimmigrant (temporary) employment-related visa categories.

John’s clients include IT companies of all sizes, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, hospitals, universities and new companies as individual inventors and scientists. He has practiced before U.S. consular offices in India and Europe, as well as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

In order to effectively serve clients, John constantly monitors legislative and administrative current developments. Analyzing work authorization procedures helps him ensure that companies are in compliance with current regulations. He performs immigration related due diligence for buyers and represents employers in Department of Labor H-1B visa investigations.

John strengthened his international business savoir faire by serving as vice president and general counsel of Mastech/IGATE Corp., a global provider of information technology services, from 1997-2003. During this same time, he served in an Of Counsel capacity at Cohen & Grigsby.

He is a former adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University schools of law.

John is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a former chair of the Immigration Policy Committee for the Information Technology Association of America. His community involvement includes serving as a board member for the Jefferson Memorial Park and Funeral Home, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2015 and 2020 Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh
  • An international Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers
  • Selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • Selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list, Corporate Counsel Edition

He is frequently asked to lecture on immigration topics at conferences presented by the International Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Council on International Personnel and the Information Technology Association of America.