Due to the portability provisions of Public Law 106-313 (Title I), Section 105, it is possible to "transfer" or "port" H1B status to another employer based on the timely filing of a petition for new employment by that sponsoring employer. This is commonly referred to as "portability." Once the employer has received the receipt notice from USCIS certifying the timely filing of the petition to sponsor the employee for H-1B status, the employee may commence working for the new employer. The employee does not have to wait for the I-797 approval notice to begin working for the new employer.
It is very important, however, that you remain employed with your current employer until you have received verification from Emory that its H-1B petition has been filed and received by USCIS. Requests for further evidence verifying your employment with the current employer are very common in H-1B portability filings. If USCIS has knowledge that you severed employment prior to their receipt of Emory’s petition to sponsor you for H-1B status, then USCIS will process the H-1B for approval for consulate notification. You would be required to depart the U.S. with the approval packet and apply for an H-1B visa stamp, before you could return to the U.S. in H-1B status and commence employment.
Please note: Georgia requires an original approval notice to issue a driver’s license. In the event that you take advantage of the “portability” provisions, you will not be able to apply for a Georgia Driver’s license until you receive the approval notice.