The short answer is yes. You can start work for a new employer immediately as long as your new employer files an H-1B transfer petition. The transfer petition does not need to be issued before you start work.
You mentioned that you applied for an H-1B extension. Transfers of an H1B do not count toward your cap. So, as long as your H-1B is valid and your new employer is filing the transfer petition, your status shouldn’t be affected. Portability ensures that people like you who file for an adjustment of status and with a case pending for 180 days or more to keep their I-140 (or labor certificate) valid as long as the new job is in the same field or is similar to the original certification. For instance, if you were granted your H-1B for computer programming and you took a similar job with a similar company and the job has similar requirements, you should be fine. It is important, though, that when your transfer is filed that your status was lawful (meaning that your extension was filed and is granted) and that you’ve not been engaging in any unauthorized employment.
Now, with that said, there are some documents that you’re likely going to need for the H-1B transfer:
- Pay stubs (three months)
- A copy of your existing H1B approval and a copy of your visa
- Copies of your passport and I-94 records
- A copy of your social security card
- A copy of an updated resume
- Copies of all of your diplomas or degrees
Transfers can take around eight weeks, but sometimes they can take more time. If you need help with your transfer for an H1B or if you have other questions, check out the legal marketplaceWe offer a start-to-finish legal experience with affordable flat-fee pricing, 24/7 customer support, and a satisfaction guarantee. Hope this helps!