Para-cycling was not on the list on Tuesday when the International Paralympic Committee announced the first 16 sports approved for inclusion in Tokyo.
The IPC says cycling federation UCI only submitted its application late last week and "as a result there was insufficient time for it to be assessed in time".
The deadline was 28 July.
The IPC board will meet in Abu Dhabi from 29 January to 1 February to make a final decision on the sports program.
Cycling will be among eight sports competing for a maximum of seven remaining places.
The others are canoeing, five-a-side football, seven-a-side football, judo, taekwondo, sailing and wheelchair fencing.
Badminton was among the 16 sports approved Tuesday and will make its Paralympic debut in Tokyo.