The 22-year-old full-back made just two appearances for the Magpies after arriving from Leeds six years ago and now joins the Latics after impressing for Rotherham last season
The 22-year-old completed a medical on Saturday and has subsequently put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the DW Stadium.
Having failed to break into the first team at St James' Park, Tavernier spent the majority of last season on loan at Rotherham United, who he helped win promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.
"James is a player I have been tracking for a long time, dating back to my days at Brentford," Wigan manager Uwe Rosler told the club's official website.
"He proved last season what great potential he has by being part of a very successful Rotherham side throughout the season and also in the play-offs.
"He will bring great competition on that side of the field, he is still learning and, at just 22, I feel that we can provide the right sort of environment for him to grow and develop into a really important player for this club."
As well as his spell at Rotherham, Tavernier has also enjoyed temporary stints at the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Carlisle United and MK Dons.