The twenty-three year old joined the club in the summer from Newcastle United following a successful loan spell with Rotherham during their promotion campaign from League One.
Tavernier has found first team opportunities difficult to come by and Malky Mackay has allowed the defender to leave for first team football.
Speaking about the transfer Mackay said: “James wants to be playing games every week but unfortunately we’ve not been able to guarantee him that here at the moment.
“Steve Cotterill at Bristol City wanted to take him to help their promotion bid and if he gets regular football at a good level it will help James’s progression, which will be in the long term benefit of both James himself and Wigan Athletic.”
Tavernier's departure represents further restructuring by manager Malky Mackay who has so far brought in just one new face, Liam Ridgewell, during the window to date.