The Government of Canada has just announced that after a student applies for a study permit, any time spent studying online from outside of Canada now counts towards the length of their PGWP. Previously, only time spent studying online once a student received approval counted towards their study permit.

For time spent studying alone to count towards a PGWP, students must:

Complete at least 50% of their program in Canada (this includes online classes completed abroad)
Apply for a study permit by September 15, 2020
Start a program in spring, summer or fall 2020